1999 Lasker Awards

Clay M. Armstrong, Bertil Hille, Roderick MacKinnon

For elucidating the functional and structural architecture of ion channel proteins, which govern the electrical potential of membranes throughout nature, thereby generating nerve impulses, and controlling muscle contraction, cardiac rhythm, and hormone secretion. Read about the achievement

David W. Cushman, Miguel A. Ondetti

For developing an innovative approach to drug design based on protein structure and using it to create the ACE inhibitors, powerful oral agents for the treatment of high blood pressure, heart failure, and diabetic kidney disease. Read about the achievement

Seymour S. Kety

For a lifetime of contributions to neuroscience— including discovery of a method for measuring cerebral blood flow that led to current brain imaging techniques, adoptive studies in schizophrenia that established its genetic origin, and visionary leadership in mental health that ushered psychiatry into the molecular era. Read about the achievement

Opening remarks by Joseph Goldstein 

On July 17, 1990, President George Bush signed into law a joint resolution of the US Congress, declaring the 1990s as "The Decade of the Brain." In his proclamation, President Bush called upon the scientific community, the general public, and the government to make research in neuroscience a top priority, with the expectation that new discoveries would lead ultimately to new treatments for brain disorders in patients.

The Decade of the Brain has delivered on its promise. Since 1990, 10,000 new scientists have joined the Society for Neuroscience, and the field has been revolutionized by advances in molecular biology, brain imaging, and drug development. But we shouldn't forget that the groundwork for these advances was laid in previous decades.

This year's Albert Lasker Awards in Medical Research honor four scientists for basic discoveries, spanning five decades, that changed the face of neuroscience. We also honor two scientists whose research, done two decades ago, led directly to the development of a new class of drugs that prevents our most common cause of brain disease—namely, strokes due to high blood pressure.


1999 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury

First Row, left to right: Philippa Marrack, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Jewish Medical and Research Center ● Paul Nurse, Imperial Cancer Research Fund ● Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University ● Joseph Goldstein, Chair of the Jury, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Michael DeBakey, Chair Emeritus of the Jury, Baylor College of Medicine ● Jordan Gutterman, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ● Mary Ellen Avery, Harvard Medical School ● J. Michael Bishop, University of California, San Francisco

Second Row, left to right: Edward Harlow, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center ● Stuart Kornfeld, Washington University School of Medicine ● Leon Rosenberg, Princeton University ● Michael Welsh, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Iowa Medical Center ● Thomas Stossel, Brigham & Women's Hospital ● Michael Brown, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Eric Kandel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons ● Alfred Gilman, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Third Row, left to right: Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory ● Craig Thompson, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine ● Martin Raff, University College London ● Günter Blobel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University ● Günter Blobel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University ● Ira Herskowitz, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine ● Gerald Fink, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research ● Dennis Baylor, Staford University School of Medicine ● Brigid Hogan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

1999 Lasker Awards Ceremony

From top left: David Cushman, Seymour Kety, Miguel Ondetti, Bertil Hille, Clay Armstrong, Roderick MacKinnon