Lasker Awards

Dear Research Advocate: Last Friday, I attended the 2017 Lasker Awards luncheon. The awards program honors the legacy of Mary Lasker, who once crisply noted: “If you think research is expensive, try disease!” I was struck by Lasker Laureate John Schiller’s provocative observation in his acceptance remarks that ensuring the “nurturing stream” of a robust science infrastructure may be more important than celebrating outstanding individual scientists. I take his point and am glad there is room to celebrate both, and it is certainly true to Mary Lasker’s legacy that our community advocates for both -- for the institutions and policies and funding that make science possible, and for the...
Dear Research Advocate: With Kavli, Janssen, Lasker, Heinz and Nobel announcements made at this time of year, we all have an opportunity to salute scientific accomplishments, and also focus more public attention on science. The Kavli prizes were awarded in Oslo last month and the Lasker awards a few weeks later. And this week, three Nobel prizes were announced . These include the Nobel for Physiology or Medicine, to Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.” Just two weeks ago today, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Ohsumi when Janssen Pharmaceuticals awarded him the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. A panel discussion following the award...
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced the winners of its 2013 Awards : Richard H. Scheller (Genentech) and Thomas C. Südhof (Stanford University School of Medicine) will receive the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discoveries concerning rapid release of neurotransmitters, a process key to the way our brain cells communicate. Graeme M. Clark (emeritus at University of Melbourne, Australia), Ingeborg Hochmair (MED-El, Innsbruck, Australia) and Blake S. Wilson (Duke University) will receive the Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for the development of the modern cochlear implant ’€” a device that allows the profoundly deaf to hear. Bill Gates and...
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced the winners of its 2013 Awards : Richard H. Scheller (Genentech) and Thomas C. Südhof (Stanford University School of Medicine) will receive the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discoveries concerning rapid release of neurotransmitters, a process key to the way our brain cells communicate. Graeme M. Clark (emeritus at University of Melbourne, Australia), Ingeborg Hochmair (MED-El, Innsbruck, Australia) and Blake S. Wilson (Duke University) will receive the Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for the development of the modern cochlear implant ’€” a device that allows the profoundly deaf to hear. Bill Gates and...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress is back in Washington but still in campaign mode, making its decisions with the election very much in mind. A 6-month continuing resolution (C.R.) is expected to pass momentarily. The C.R. would put off appropriations decision-making until the new Congress has gotten under way, flat-funding the government through March of next year at fiscal 2012 levels. The atmosphere of fiscal uncertainty for the agencies that fund research, and everyone seeking that funding, is in fact demoralizing in the extreme. Compounding the problem is that the C.R. does nothing to address the looming problem of sequestration, which is scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013. The...
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced the winners of its 2012 Awards : Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award: Michael Sheetz, PhD (Columbia University); James Spudich, PhD (Stanford University); and Ronald Vale, PhD (University of California San Francisco) Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award: Sir Roy Calne (University of Cambridge, emeritus); Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD (University of Pittsburgh) Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award: Donald D. Brown, DSc (Carnegie Institute); Tom Maniatis, PhD (Columbia University) The winners were announced Monday. The seven men will be honored at a ceremony September 21 in New York. “The Lasker Awards celebrate biomedical...

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter