For 50 years of brilliant creativity in biomedical science — exemplified by his legendary work on the genetic code; his daring introduction of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a system for tracing the birth and death of every cell in a living animal; his rational voice in the debate on recombinant DNA; and his trenchant wit.
This year's Lasker Awards are a tribute to the complex sociology of modern science. The Basic Award is given to three scientists—one born in Hungary, one born in Israel, and one born in Russia. Their monumental discovery highlights the international scope and collaborative nature of science. The Clinical Award honors a scientist from a company, Chiron Corp., and a scientist from a federal research institute, the NIH, for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus and its elimination from the blood supply. This award illustrates the increasing importance of collaboration between the Biotechnology Industry and the traditional research enterprise. This is the first time that a Lasker prize has recognized the Biotechnology Industry. The Special Achievement Award is given to a scientist whom many believe to be the most influential biologist of the last five decades. This award illustrates the role of unrestrained creativity in driving scientific discovery.
So today, we celebrate collaboration, biotechnology, and creativity. Behind each award is a wonderful story that you will soon hear about.
Front Row, left to right: Ira Herskowitz, University of California School of Medicine ● Shirley Tilghman, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Princeton University ● Eric Kandel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons ● Joseph Goldstein, Chair of the Jury, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Michael DeBakey, Chair Emeritus of the Jury, Baylor College of Medicine ● Michael Brown, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Mary Ellen Avery, Harvard Medical School ● Paul Nurse, Imperial Cancer Research Fund
Second Row, left to right: William Paul, National Institutes of Health ● Thomas Stossel, Brigham & Women's Hospital ● J. Michael Bishop, University of California School of Medicine ● Stuart Orkin, Harvard Medical School ● Alfred Gilman, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Michael Welsh, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Iowa ● Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Third Row, left to right: Leon Rosenberg, Princeton University ● Stuart Kornfeld, Washington University School of Medicine ● Thomas Maniatis, Harvard University ● Martin Raff, University College London ● Don Wiley, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University ● Günter Blobel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University
Not pictured: Denis Baylor, Stanford University School of Medicine ● Gerald Fink, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research ● Philippa Marrack, Howard Hughes Medical Center, National Jewish Center ● Charles Sherr, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital ● Craig Thompson, The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center
Daniel Koshland, Jr., Chair of the Selection Committee, University of California, Berkeley ● Mrs. William McCormick Blair, Jr., Lasker Foundation Board of Directors (Non-Voting Member of the Selection Committee) ● Nancy Brinker, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation ● Robin Chandler Duke, Population Action International ● Christine Gorman, TIME ● Connie Mack, United States Senate ● Ellis Rubinstein, Science ● Kenneth Shine, National Academy of Sciences ● Alfred Sommer, The Johns Hopkins University ● Samuel Their, Partners HealthCare System, Inc.