Marshfield Clinic geneticist and hematologist/oncologist to share Sebold fellowship
MARSHFIELD — Two nationally-recognized Marshfield Clinic researchers, a geneticist and a hematologist/oncologist, will be awarded the 27th Gwen D. Sebold Fellowship for Outstanding Research.
Senior Research Scientist Murray Brilliant and Dr. Adedayo Onitilo, who practices at Marshfield Clinic Weston Center and Marshfield Clinic Cancer Care at Ministry/Saint Michael’s Hospital, Stevens Point, will be honored Wednesday, Nov. 12, in a program held in the Froehlke Auditorium, Melvin R. Laird Center, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield.
This is the first time two people will receive the fellowship in a single year. The fellowship has been given by D. David “Dewey” Sebold, who resides in Medford, since 1988 to recognize an outstanding medical researcher and support continued research in his or her field.
“Drs. Brilliant and Onitilo are talented researchers whose work is improving the quality of life for countless Marshfield Clinic patients and, indeed, patients around the world,” said Dr. Jaime Boero, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (MCRF) Board of Trustees chair. “These researchers represent the two major types of biomedical research, Dr. Onitilo as a physician/scientist carrying out patient-oriented research and Dr. Brilliant as a scientist conducting more basic research. The award selection committee decided to honor both men for their outstanding research—past, present and future—conducted at Marshfield Clinic and MCRF.”
Recipients receive $5,000 and a memorial plaque presented by Sebold in memory of his sister, Gwen Sebold. Gwen Sebold grew up in Dorchester and joined Marshfield Clinic as a medical stenographer in 1955. She died of cancer in July 1974.
“The breadth and knowledge of the physicians and scientists conducting research at Marshfield Clinic are evident in Murray Brilliant and Adedayo Onitilo,” Sebold said. “They are outstanding researchers, and I’m pleased they were selected to receive Gwen’s fellowship.”
Brilliant holds administrative and scientific positions, including director of MCRF’s Center for Human Genetics and holder of the Dr. James Weber Endowed Chair in Human Genetics. He’s also director of University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research’s Translational Technologies and Research Core, a partnership between the University of Wisconsin and Marshfield Clinic.
“I’m honored to be in the company of those individuals who’ve won this fellowship in the past,” Brilliant said. “They’re amazing scientists and researchers. I couldn’t have done it without those who had the vision to start the Personalized Medicine Research Project and the Project’s 20,000 research participants. We continue to reap results from this work.”
Brilliant has authored 20 high-impact publications, advancing the fields of albinism genetics, clinical implementation of genetic information, oral-systemic health, fragile X syndrome, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration genetics, and pharmacogenetics.
Brilliant is a world expert on the genetics of albinism, identifying three of the genes associated with the condition.
Onitilo, who serves as the Clinic’s Oncology service line leader, is a well respected clinician and researcher. He also was the 2014 recipient of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation’s Champion in Women’s Health – Cancer award.
His study using the Clinic’s electronic medical records led to developing an electronic algorithm to accurately pinpoint the onset of type 2 diabetes. His work has led to new findings in the temporal relationship between type 2 diabetes and breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
Onitilo’s work with patients with advanced breast cancer in rural areas confirmed the need for early detection through mammograms. He has researched potential breast cancer treatment complications that detract from the patient’s quality of life.
“I’m so very surprised by this honor,” Onitilo said. “Research and patient care are my passions, and to be recognized for what I love to do is, again, truly an honor.”