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LASKER Award (sometimes referred to as America's Nobels)

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Lasker Awards recognize the contributions of researchers, clinician scientists, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of disease.

The Lasker Awards have been awarded annually since 1945 to living persons who have made major contributions to medical science or who have performed public service on behalf of medicine. They are administered by the Lasker Foundation, founded by Albert Lasker and his wife Mary Woodard Lasker (later a medical research activist). The awards are sometimes referred to as America's Nobels.

Lasker Award has gained a reputation for identifying future winners of the Nobel Prize. Eighty-six Lasker laureates have received the Nobel Prize, including 32 in the last two decades.

The award is given in four branches of Medical sciences:

  • Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
  • Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award
  • Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award (Renamed in 2000/2011 from previous Lasker Public Service Awards)
  • Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science (1994–)(optional)

The awards carry an honorarium of $250,000 for each category. In addition to the main awards, there are historical awards that are no longer awarded.

Winners of the LASKER Awards

Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award winners

Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research is one of the prizes awarded by the Lasker Foundation for the outstanding discovery, Contribution and achievement in the field of medicine and Human Physiology. The award frequently precedes a Nobel Prize in Medicine: almost 50% of the winners have gone on to win one.

Award winner for Basic Medical Research for earlier years

Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award winners

Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award is one of four annual awards presented by the Lasker Foundation. The Lasker-DeBakey award is given to honour outstanding work for the understanding, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and cure of disease. This award was renamed in 2008 in honour of Michael E. DeBakey. It was previously known as the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research.

  • 2019: H. Michael Shepard, Dennis J. Slamon and Axel Ullrich, For their invention of Herceptin, the first monoclonal antibody that blocks a cancer-causing protein, and for its development as a life-saving therapy for women with breast cancer.
  • 2018: John B. Glen, For the discovery and development of propofol, a chemical whose rapid action and freedom from residual effects have made it the most widely used agent for induction of anaesthesia in patients throughout the world.
  • 2017: Douglas R. Lowy and John T. Schiller [de], For technological advances that enabled development of HPV vaccines for prevention of cervical cancer and other tumors caused by human papillomaviruses.
  • 2016: Ralf F. W. Bartenschlager, Charles M. Rice and Michael J. Sofia, For development of a system to study the replication of the virus that causes hepatitis C and for use of this system to revolutionize the treatment of this chronic, often lethal disease.
  • 2015: James P. Allison (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018), For the discovery and development of a monoclonal antibody therapy that unleashes the immune system to combat cancer.
  • 2014: Alim-Louis Benabid and Mahlon R. DeLong, For the development of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, a surgical technique that reduces tremors and restores motor function in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease.
  • 2013: Graeme M. Clark, Ingeborg Hochmair and Blake S. Wilson, For the development of the modern cochlear implant — a device that bestows hearing to individuals with profound deafness.
  • 2012: Roy Calne and Thomas Starzl, For the development of liver transplantation, which has restored normal life to thousands of patients with end-stage liver disease.
  • 2011: Tu Youyou (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015), For the discovery of artemisinin, a drug therapy for malaria that has saved millions of lives across the globe, especially in the developing world.
  • 2010: Napoleone Ferrara, Discovery of VEGF as a major mediator of angiogenesis and the development of an effective anti-VEGF therapy for wet macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
  • 2009: Brian J. Druker, Nicholas Lydon and Charles Sawyers, The development of molecularly-targeted treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia, converting a fatal cancer into a manageable chronic condition.
  • 2008: Akira Endo, The discovery of the statins—drugs with remarkable LDL-cholesterol-lowering properties that have revolutionized the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease.
  • 2007: Alain Carpentier and Albert Starr, The development of prosthetic mitral and aortic valves, which have prolonged and enhanced the lives of millions of people with heart disease.
  • 2006: Aaron Beck,The development of cognitive therapy, which has transformed the understanding and treatment of many psychiatric conditions, including depression, suicidal behavior, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and eating disorders.
  • 2005: Alec John Jeffreys and Edwin Mellor Southern, Development of two powerful technologies—Southern hybridization and DNA fingerprinting—that together revolutionized human genetics and forensic diagnostics.
  • 2004: Charles Kelman, For revolutionizing the surgical removal of cataracts, turning a 10-day hospital stay into an outpatient procedure, and dramatically reducing complications.
  • 2003: Marc Feldmann and Ravinder N. Maini, Discovery of anti-TNF therapy as an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
  • 2002: Willem J. Kolff and Belding H. Scribner, Development of renal hemodialysis, which changed kidney failure from a fatal to a treatable disease, prolonging the useful lives of millions of patients.
  • 2001: Robert G. Edwards, Development of in vitro fertilization, a technological advance that has revolutionized the treatment of human infertility.
  • 2000: Harvey J. Alter and Michael Houghton, Discovery of the virus that causes hepatitis C and the development of screening methods that reduced the risk of blood transfusion-associated hepatitis in the U.S. from 30% in 1970 to virtually zero in 2000.

Award winner for Clinical Medical Research for earlier years