Researchers To Receive Lasker Awards for Work in Fighting HIV/AIDS
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation on Saturday announced that two researchers will receive Lasker awards for their work related to HIV/AIDS, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, the Lasker awards are "widely considered the nation's most prestigious medical prizes."
Anthony Fauci, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will receive the award for his work with the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Fauci also will be recognized for his work to address biological hazards, according to the Times (Altman, New York Times, 9/16). Fauci is credited with urging President Bush to create PEPFAR, Long Island Newsday reports (Ricks, Long Island Newsday, 9/16).
In addition, Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller University will be recognized for discovering dendritic cells, which can adjust the body's immune system by stimulating different CD4+ T cells. Steinman and colleagues found that dendritic cells allow HIV to transmit to the lymph nodes, helping to spread the virus rather than kill it, the Times reports (New York Times, 9/16). According to the AP/Google.com, dendritic cells are being studied to determine whether they can prompt the immune system to attack HIV and other diseases (Ritter, AP/Google.com, 9/16).
Alain Carpentier of the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris and Albert Starr of the Providence Health System in Portland, Ore., also will receive the award for their work in developing mechanical heart valves. Fauci and Steinman each will receive $150,000, and Carpentier and Starr each will receive $75,000, the Times reports (New York Times, 9/16). The awards will be presented in New York on Sept. 28, the AP/Google.com reports (AP/Google.com, 9/16).