Every year since 1945 the
Lasker Award has recognized the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease.
Mary-Claire King for bold, imaginative and diverse contributions to medical science and human rights. Dr. King discovered the BRCA1 gene locus that causes hereditary breast cancer and deployed DNA strategies that reunite missing persons or their remains with their families.
Robert Roeder for pioneering studies on eukaryotic RNA polymerases and the general transcriptional machinery, which opened gene expression in animal cells to biochemical analysis.
Belding H. Scribner for the development of renal hemodialysis, which changed kidney failure from a fatal to a treatable disease, prolonging the useful lives of millions of patients.
Bertil Hille for elucidating the functional and structural architecture of ion channel proteins, which govern the electrical potential of membranes throughout nature, thereby generating nerve impulses and controlling muscle contraction, cardiac rhythm, and hormone secretion.
Lee Hartwell for pioneering genetic and molecular studies that revealed the universal machinery for regulating cell division in all eukaryotic organisms, from yeasts to frogs to human beings.
Edwin G. Krebs for his seminal finding that phosphorylation activates major enzymes in cells, and for perceiving the profound importance of protein kinase enzymes.
Leroy Hood for his imaginative studies of somatic recombination in the immune system, showing that rearrangements of genes lead to an infinite diversity of antibodies.