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HFSP alumni rewarded for their groundbreaking research

HFSP alumni are among the winners of the 2019 Lasker Awards and other major science prizes.


The 2019 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award was bestowed upon Max D. Cooper of the Emory University School of Medicine, together with Jacques Miller, 'for their discovery of the two distinct classes of lymphocytes, B and T cells – a monumental achievement that provided the organizing principle of the adaptive immune system and launched the course of modern immunology.' In 1996, Max Cooper was awarded a collaborative HFSP Research Grant to study lymphoid cell homing and differentiation during development.

The Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award went to an HFSP Research Grant awardee Axel Ullrich of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, together with Michael Shepard and Dennis Slamon, 'for their invention of Herceptin, the first monoclonal antibody that blocks a cancer-causing protein, and for its development as a life-saving cancer therapy.' In 1990, Dr Ullrich received HFSP funding to work on a team project entitled 'Elucidation of molecular mechanisms of hormone-receptor interaction and signal transduction.' 
 
Maria Jasin, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, won the 2019 Shaw Prize in Life Science & Medicine 'for her work showing that localized double strand breaks in DNA stimulate recombination in mammalian cells. This seminal work was essential for and led directly to the tools enabling editing at specific sites in mammalian genomes.' Dr Jasin received an HFSP Research Grant in 1997 to research the function and significance of the DNA dependent protein kinase.
 
This year's EMBO Gold Medal went to HFSP Young Investigator alumnus M. Madan Babu of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge 'for his fundamental contributions to the field of computational molecular biology, specifically for his discoveries in the areas of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling and intrinsically disordered proteins.' He received the prize jointly with Paola Picotti. Madan Babu was part of a 2010 HFSP Young Investigator Grant team working on a project titled 'Towards an integrated model of phenotypic evolution: the genetic architecture of network dynamics.'
 
1992 HFSP Research Grant alumnus, Rino Rappuoli, Chief Scientist and Head of External Research and Development (R&D) at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vaccines in Siena, Italy, was awarded the 2019 Robert Koch Award. The award honors his groundbreaking work on the development of novel vaccines.
 
Other prizes and awards are listed in the HFSP Annual Reports 

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