Martina Bebin, M.D., associate professor of neurology and pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been named the Manuel R. Gomez, M.D., award winner by the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. The award was established in 1995 to honor Gomez, who is often called the father of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in the United States.
The award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant breakthrough in tuberous sclerosis complex research, or for their body of research to advance understanding of TSC, and/or to provide clinical care for individuals with the disease.
“This is a very special honor for me since Dr. Gomez was my mentor at the Mayo Clinic and encouraged me to pursue child neurology,” said Bebin.
Bebin is co-director of the UAB Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic and a founding member of the TSC Clinical Research Consortium. She is also a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow and has been active in research and clinical care for TSC since training with Gomez in the early 1990s.
Tuberous sclerosis is a rare, multisystem genetic disease that causes benign tumors to form in a number of vital organs – primarily the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs. It commonly affects the central nervous system, with symptoms that include seizures, developmental delays, behavioral problems, skin abnormalities and kidney disease.
The incidence of TSC is estimated to be 1-in-6,000 live births, meaning approximately 50,000 individuals in the United States and more than one million worldwide have the disease. There is no cure for TS, but treatment is available for a number of the symptoms.