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Karmanos doctor earns distinction for having a significant impact on global public health

Ananda Prasad, M.D., Ph.D., distinguished professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, has been named one of 20 Public Health Experts Worth Knowing, according to “The Health Hawk,” an online blog run by the Master of Public Health Web site.
     
Dr. Prasad is a world-renowned expert on zinc.
     
“The Health Hawk” includes Dr. Prasad in its list of some of the world’s most prominent health experts. Click on here to see the full article.
     
"I am obviously very pleased and honored to be included in the very important selected list of people whose work has impacted greatly on public health," Dr. Prasad said.
     
The editors used a variety of search methods, including scouring Google, reading news releases and perusing academic publications. From that research, they developed a list of 20 people who have had the largest impact on public health.
     
Dr. Prasad was selected because of his studies and work with zinc as an element essential to human survival. He described the first cases of human zinc deficiency syndrome in 1963 in young adults. Zinc supplementation resulted in significantly increasing height, weight, bone development and sexual maturation.
     
In 1961, Dr. Prasad published an article in the American Journal of Medicine, suggesting for the first time that zinc deficiency could account for human growth retardation. In a subsequent paper based on studies done in dwarfs from Egypt, Dr. Prasad established the study subjects were zinc deficient. This paper was published in The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine in 1963 and later was republished in 1990 as a landmark article in the same journal.
     
After the publication of these papers, Dr. Prasad started administering zinc through clinical trials, and his subjects began growing taller and developing male characteristics.
     
Since then, Dr. Prasad has continued to study the role zinc plays in human development. In 1975, he suggested the National Research Council set the Recommended Daily Allowance for zinc to 15 milligrams per day.
     
Additionally, his zinc studies have saved countless lives in African and Asian countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In these areas, the mortality rate from infantile diarrhea approached 85 percent. When the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization adopted zinc supplements to combat infant diarrhea in these regions, that mortality rate dropped to 15 percent. In December 2009, TIME magazine named zinc the “miracle mineral.”
     
We congratulate Dr. Prasad on his inclusion on this special list!
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