Lasker Awards honor work in transplantation, genetics and cell biology

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 24, 2012

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Seven scientists have been recognized by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation for major contributions to medical science.

Dr. Roy Calne, a professor emeritus of surgery at the University of Cambridge in England, and Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD, professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, received the foundation’s 2012 Clinical Medical Research Award for their pioneering work in liver transplantation, including reducing the risks of organ rejection. Their work has helped save the lives of thousands of patients with serious liver diseases that were fatal more than 50 years ago, the foundation announced Sept. 10 (link).

The Special Achievement Award in Medical Science went to Donald D. Brown, MD, emeritus director of the Dept. of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Baltimore, and Tom Maniatis, PhD, chair and professor of biochemistry and molecular physics at Columbia University in New York, for exceptional leadership in biomedical science, including advancements in genetics and their commitment to supporting young scientists.

Michael Sheetz, PhD, chair of biological sciences and professor of cell biology at Columbia University; James Spudich, PhD, professor of cardiovascular disease at Stanford University School of Medicine in California; and Ronald Vale, PhD, professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, received the Basic Medical Research Award for their discoveries concerning cytoskeletal motor proteins. The proteins are responsible for numerous functions, including muscle contraction, intracellular movement and cell movement.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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