publication date: Sep. 13, 2019

The 2019 Lasker Awards go to: Max D. Cooper, Jacques Miller, Michael Shepard, Dennis J. Slamon, Axel Ullrich, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

The Lasker Foundation has named the winners of the 2019 Lasker Awards: Max D. Cooper, Jacques Miller, Michael Shepard, Dennis J. Slamon, Axel Ullrich, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Widely regarded as America’s top biomedical research prize, the Lasker Awards carry an honorarium of $250,000 for each category. The awards will be presented Sept. 20, in New York City.

 

The Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award:

The Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award honors two scientists, Max D. Cooper from Emory University and Jacques Miller from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, who identified and defined the function of B and T cells, uncovering the organizing principle of the adaptive immune response.

The adaptive immune system “remembers” specific invader organisms (known as pathogens) or other abnormal cells in the body that it has encountered and eliminates them. It is comprised of B and T cells. B cells develop in the bone marrow and produce antibodies in response to pathogens, disabling them or tagging them to be destroyed. T cells mature in the thymus gland and help alert B cells to the presence of pathogens; they can also detect and kill infected or abnormal cells.

Miller showed that the thymus, previously thought to be a vestigial organ, is essential for immune function. Cooper then demonstrated that there are two distinct cell lineages in the adaptive immune system: B cells and T cells. Working with chickens, he showed that an avian organ called the bursa of Fabricius is the site where B cells mature … Continue reading The 2019 Lasker Awards go to: Max D. Cooper, Jacques Miller, Michael Shepard, Dennis J. Slamon, Axel Ullrich, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

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