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September 27, 2016

Ensuring an Innovative and Productive Future for the Next Generation of Scientists: The 2016 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco
JAMA. 2016;316(12):1256-1257. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.13884

The 2016 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science has been presented to Bruce Alberts for fundamental discoveries in DNA replication and protein biochemistry, for visionary leadership in directing national and international scientific organizations to better people’s lives, and for passionate dedication to improving education in science and mathematics.

The highly distributive, cooperative global system that is called science has proven to be an immensely powerful human invention, repeatedly producing amazing new breakthroughs. Thus, tremendous advances have been made in knowledge of the fundamental chemistry of living organisms over the past 3 to 4 decades. In particular, it is now increasingly appreciated that life is made possible by incredibly complicated, highly interactive networks of chemical reactions, catalyzed by elaborate complexes of macromolecules that function as “protein machines.”1 In fact, the chemistry of life is by far the most sophisticated chemistry known, and this fact has critical implications both for medicine and for biomedical research.