Four less-than-cuddly members of the animal kingdom played a role in the work for which Lasker Medical Research Awards were presented this year. Squid, frogs, scorpions, and vipers have figured in physiological investigations that led to the seminal discoveries for which the scientists were honored on October 1.
Alluding to advances in neuroscience made during the 1990s, "the decade of the brain," Nobel laureate Joseph L. Goldstein, MD, chair of the awards jury, said at the Lasker luncheon, "We should not forget that the groundwork for these advances was laid in previous decades. This year's Lasker Awards celebrate ‘Five Decades of the Brain' by honoring four scientists for discoveries spanning five decades that shed light on many diseases of the brain—from epilepsy to schizophrenia. We also honor two scientists whose research, done two decades ago, led directly to the development of a class of drugs that prevents the most common cause of brain disease—namely, strokes due to high blood pressure."
Goldsmith MF. 1999 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Presented. JAMA. 1999;282(15):1411-1414. doi:10.1001/jama.282.15.1411-JMN1020-3-1