Today, the Lasker Foundation announced the winners of their 65th annual Lasker Awards, celebrating biomedical research. The winners all contributed to scientific research with strong implications for medical advancements:
Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
Awarded to: Douglas Coleman & Jeffrey Friedman for the discovery of leptin, the “obesity gene”
Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award
Awarded to Napoleone Ferrara for the discovery of the role of VEGF in angiogenesis and the development of an anti-VEGF therapy for wet macular degeneration
Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science
Awarded to David Weatherall for lifetime research in the genetics of blood diseases, in particular for his work on thalassemia
The status of the awards becomes clear when you realize that in the past 65 years, as many as seventy-nine Lasker winners have also received a Nobel Prize. Winners of the Lasker receive $250,000 per award, and a statue, which you can see in the video below.
In Napoleone Ferrara’s award announcement video, he and others describe the role of VEGF in angiogenesis and wet macular degeneration:
Videos for the other winners are also available on the Lasker Foundation website.
Coleman, Friedman, Ferrara and Weatherall will receive their awards on Friday, October 1, in New York City.
And a little quiz: Aside from all winning a Lasker award this year, what connects these three research topics? (The simplest answer is only five letters long, but you can be more complicated. No prize, just for fun.)