AU-cupp

11/4/99

David M. Granger

ILLINOIS HONORS AU'S CUPP FOR RIVER BLINDNESS WORK

AUBURN -- Auburn University entomology professor Ed Cupp is one of three recipients of the University of Illinois' College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Awards.

Cupp, who received his Ph.D. from Illinois in 1969, was honored for helping develop the first successful control method for river blindness, a parasitic disease that has blinded or incapacitates an estimated 18 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America.

Cupp's environmentally safe, pathogen-based model is being applied throughout the developing world to control endemic insect-borne diseases.

A pioneer in river blindness research, Cupp and his research group were the first to colonize and raise in mass the black flies that transmit the disease. As a team leader in Liberia and Guatemala, Cupp's group showed that treatment of infected humans with the drug ivermectin prevented the parasite's transmission for long periods, a discovery that led to the development of a multinational, multimillion dollar programs for the prevention of river blindness in Latin America and Africa.

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nov99:AU-cupp

CONTACT: Cupp, 334/844-5006.