Lasker Prize Goes to Geneticists at Yale U. and Max Planck Institute

Arthur L. Horwich, a professor of genetics at Yale University, and Franz-Ulrich Hartl, managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, in Germany, have won the Albert Lasker Basic Research Award, one of the most coveted prizes in biomedicine. The two won for discovering how proteins properly fold within a cell, aided by “helper” molecules called chaperonins; improper folding is linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The two scientists will share a cash award of $250,000.

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation also announced on Monday the winners of two other $250,000 prizes: Tu Youyou, a Chinese scientist who discovered artemisinin, the most powerful antimalarial drug available, for clinical research; and the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health for public service.

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