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 research that has had a transformative effect on the practice of medicine, science, and the lives and health of people all over the world,” said Alfred Sommer, MD, chair of the Lasker Foundation’s board of directors, in a statement. “This year’s awards are no exception, honoring fundamental biological discoveries, life-saving surgical techniques and scientific statesmanship of the highest order.
According to the foundation’s press release, Sheetz, Spudich and Vale are being honored for their work in discovering proteins that transport cargoes within cells; Calne and Sterzl for their work in fashioning life-saving liver transplantation techniques; and Brown and Maniatis for their work with genes and for fostering the development of early-career scientists.
“The intellectual rigor and perseverance exhibited by this year’s laureates greatly extended the medical research community’s knowledge of cell biology, led to new surgical techniques that prevented many deaths, and provided a deeper understanding of genetics across generations of scientists worldwide,” Maria Freire, PhD, president of the Lasker Foundation, said in a statement. “With determination and verve, they boldly pursued new paths of inquiry that have benefited all mankind.”