WOODS HOLE, MASS.Scientists who invented new ways to study how "cargo" is moved within cells and, as a result, discovered a new biological motor protein, kinesin, at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., have received the prestigious 2012 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced today. The awardees are Michael Sheetz of Columbia University; James Spudich of Stanford University School of Medicine; and Ron Vale of University of California, San Francisco/Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The Lasker Awards are among the most respected science prizes in the world, and often anticipate future recipients of the Nobel Prize. Also announced today were the recipients of the 2012 Lasker Award for Clinical Research (Roy Calne and Thomas E. Starzl) and for Special Achievement (Donald D. Brown and Thomas Maniatis). The awards carry a $250,000 honorarium for each category.
"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," says Alfred Sommer, chair of the Lasker Foundation's Board of Directors. "This year's awards are no exception, honoring fundamental biological discoveries, life-saving surgical techniques and scientific statesmanship of the highest order."
Sheetz, Spudich, and Vale opened up the study of "cytoskeletal motor proteins, machines that move cargoes within cells, contract muscles, and enable cell movements.. The miniscule motors underlie numerous vital processes, and the landmark achievements of Vale, Spudich, and Sheetz are driving drug-discovery efforts aimed at cardiac problems as well as cancer," states the Lasker Foundation announcement.
|Contact: Diana Kenney|
Marine Biological Laboratory