The New York City-based Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced the winners of the 2011 Lasker Awards, which are among the most prestigious honors in medical science.
This year's winners are Franz-Ulrich Hartl of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and Arthur L. Horwich of the Yale University School of Medicine, who were awarded the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discovering a cellular machine that controls how newly manufactured proteins fold into their biologically active structures; Tu Youyou of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, who received the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for discovering artemisinin, the most effective treatment now available against malaria; and the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, which was awarded the bi-annual Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award for its efforts to turn scientific advances into innovative therapies and provide high-quality care to patients. Each award includes an honorarium of $250,000.
Since 1945, the Lasker Awards program has recognized the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants internationally who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease.
"The intellectual skill, vision, and clarity of thought displayed by this year's prize winners extends the scientific community's understanding of how cells operate, led to new treatments that prevented millions of deaths, and stemmed human suffering," said Lasker Foundation president Maria Freire. "Creativity, innovation, and determination have allowed them to pursue novel paths in medical research."