The Wiley Foundation Announces Recipients of Fourth Annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences
"We are pleased to announce that the fourth annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences will be awarded to Dr. Peter Walter, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of California in San Francisco, and Dr. Kazutoshi Mori, a Professor of Biophysics, in the Graduate School of Science at Kyoto University, in Japan," said Ms. Wiley. "As part of this honor, Dr. Walter and Dr. Mori have also been invited to deliver a lecture on April 8, 2005 at The Rockefeller University in New York City."
"Dr. Walter and Dr. Mori were selected as this year's recipients of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences for their discovery of the novel pathway by which cells regulate the capacity of their intracellular compartments to produce correctly folded proteins for export," said Dr. Günter Blobel, Chairman of the awards jury for the Wiley Prize. Dr. Blobel, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Professor of Cell Biology at The Rockefeller University, was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1999. Other members of the jury include Dr. David J. Anderson, a developmental neurobiologist at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Qais Al-Awqati, a physiologist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and Dr. Joan Steitz, a molecular biologist at Yale University.
All cells must ascertain that proteins, which they release or display on their surface are properly assembled and functional. With their pioneering work on an intracellular signaling pathway called the 'Unfolded Protein Response', Dr. Mori and Dr. Walter have elucidated the molecular processes by which cells adjust their capacity for protein folding and quality control according to need. Their work provides answers to the fundamental question of how cells maintain a proper abundance of organelles and has far reaching implications for our understanding of the development of specialized cell types and various diseases, including protein folding disorders and cancer.
The Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences was created to recognize contributions that have opened new fields of research or have advanced novel concepts or their applications in a particular biomedical discipline. It honors a specific contribution or a series of contributions that demonstrate significant leadership and innovation. The award includes a $25,000 grant, and the opportunity to present a public lecture at The Rockefeller University, the venue for the awards ceremony.
This will be the fourth Wiley Prize awarded by the Wiley Foundation. The honor was bestowed last year to Dr. C. David Allis of The Rockefeller University for his significant discovery that transcription factors can enzymatically modify histones to regulate gene activity. In 2003, the Wiley Prize was presented to an international group of independent investigators—Dr. Andrew Z. Fire of both the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Craig C. Mello, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Dr. Thomas Tuschl, of The Rockefeller University; and Dr. David Baulcombe, of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the John Innes Center in Norwich, England—for their contributions to discoveries of novel mechanisms for regulating gene expression by small interfering RNAs (siRNA).
The first annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences was presented in 2002. One of its co-recipients, Dr. H. Robert Horvitz, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was named as a Nobel Laureate later that year. Dr. Horvitz shared the inaugural Wiley Prize with Dr. Stanley J. Korsmeyer of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, for their independent contributions toward defining the genetic and molecular basis of programmed cell death, known as apoptosis. (Dr. Horvitz subsequently shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. Sydney Brenner of the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California, and Sir John Sulston of the Sanger Center in Cambridge, United Kingdom, for their respective work on how genes regulate organ development and cell death.)
Over the last century Wiley has developed a reputation for publishing information on significant advances in science, technology, and medicine, contributed by prominent researchers and scientists from a vast community of scholars worldwide. "The Wiley Foundation and the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences were created to acknowledge the contributions of the scholarly community to Wiley's corporate success," explained Ms. Wiley. "We seek to recognize and foster ongoing excellence in scientific achievement and discovery."
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