Two distinguished Brandeis researchers, whose long-standing collaboration led to pioneering discoveries about the workings of the biological clock and its role in circadian rhythms, today were awarded the prestigious Canada Gairdner Award, that nation's foremost international scientific honor.
Michael Rosbash, the Peter and Patricia Gruber Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Brandeis' National Center for Behavioral Genomics, and Professor Emeritus of Biology Jeffrey C. Hall were given the award "to recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life."
They share the Canada Gairdner Award with Professor Michael W. Young of Rockefeller University in New York. This is the third major award for the trio stemming from their groundbreaking research into circadian rhythms, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Last year, they were awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. In 2009, the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation awarded them its Neuroscience Prize.
Rosbash, in accepting the award today, said: "It's a very flattering honor, in large part because of the wonderful group of people who go before us, who have won the Canada Gairdner Awards in the past. I am humbled by being included in their company."
President Fred Lawrence congratulated the two Brandeis scientists and their colleague. "We are extremely proud of them and the research that was conducted on this campus," he said. "This was extraordinary work that holds the promise of improving human life, and it represents the best of Brandeis."
The Gairdner Foundation in Toronto began giving awards in 1959 to recognize and reward the world's most creative and accomplished biomedical scientists. Of 298 individuals from 13 countries who have been honored, 76 have subsequently won the Nobel Prize.
"The Canada Gairdner Award has a big role to
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