Cannon AshleyAshley Cannon, Ph.D., in the UAB Department of Genetics has been named the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Francis S. Collins Scholars Program Award.

She was accepted into the Francis S. Collins Scholars Program in Neurofibromatosis Clinical and Translational Research, sponsored by the neurofibromatosis therapeutic acceleration program at Johns Hopkins University.

“Because Ashley Cannon trained in and serves as both a genetic counselor and a neuroscientist, her work embodies the clinician-scientist role typified by Dr. Collins, for whom the program is named in recognition of his contributions to NF research,” said Bruce Korf, M.D., professor and Wayne H. and Sara Crews Finley Chair in Medical Genetics in the Department of Genetics.

Cannon is the first individual in the UAB neurofibromatosis program to have received this significant honor, which is designed to attract the highest level of talent to the field of NF by providing salary and research support to advance rigorous clinical translational research that will lead to improved treatment options for patients. NF is a genetic disorder that affects one in 3,000 people. The disorder can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. NF can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities and disabling pain.

There is no cure and no effective treatment for NF. However, UAB’s role as an international leader in research for all forms of NF has led to pioneering advances in understanding the genetic mechanisms involved, providing patients with access to progressive therapies and leading-edge information.

Click here to read the UAB press release.