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February 04, 2003

RNA Researchers Named as Winners of the Second Annual Wiley Prize in the Biomedical Sciences

Hoboken, NJ
Deborah E. Wiley, Chairman of The Wiley Foundation, and Senior Vice President, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today the four co-recipients of the second annual Wiley Prize in the Biomedical Sciences.

"We are pleased to announce that the second annual Wiley Prize in the Biomedical Sciences will be awarded to an international group of 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, formerly of the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany, and most recently of the Rockefeller University; and Dr. David Baulcombe, of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England," said Ms. Wiley. "As part of bestowing this honor, we have invited them each to deliver a lecture on May 2, 2003, at the Rockefeller University in New York."

This year's awardees were recognized for their respective contributions to discoveries of novel mechanisms for regulating gene expression by small interfering RNAs (siRNA). "These pioneering researchers were chosen both for their imaginative pursuit of novel research hypotheses and their sophisticated approaches to the characterization of siRNA as a new class of RNA molecule. Their findings have already elucidated fundamental ways in which gene expression is regulated, and one can envision how the application of this knowledge could lead to biomedical applications with therapeutic potential," said Dr. Günter Blobel, recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize awarded for Physiology or Medicine, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Professor of Cell Biology at the Rockefeller University. At the invitation of the Wiley Foundation, Professor Blobel served as Chairman of the awards jury for the Wiley Prize. Other jury members included Dr. David J. Anderson, a developmental neurobiologist at the California Institute of Technology, and Dr. Qais Al-Awqati, a physiologist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The Wiley Prize in the 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 an honorary lecture at Rockefeller University, the venue for the awards ceremony.

This year's Wiley Prize will be but the second award to be bestowed by the Wiley Foundation. "All of us at Wiley and the Wiley Foundation were delighted when we learned last Fall that one of the co-recipients of the inaugural Wiley Prize in the Biomedical Sciences, H. Robert Horvitz, was named as a Nobel Laureate. As with this year's Wiley Prize winners, Dr. Horvitz was recognized for the kind of groundbreaking research that gives real meaning to the mission of the Wiley Foundation in honoring scientific achievement," said Ms. Wiley. (Dr. Horvitz, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shared last year's 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 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with 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 strong reputation by publishing and disseminating information on significant advances in science, technology, and medicine, contributed by prominent researchers and scientists from a vast community of scholars worldwide. "By creating the Wiley Foundation and the Wiley Prize in the Biomedical Sciences, Wiley wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the community of scholars to our corporate success, as well as to recognize and foster ongoing excellence in scientific achievement and discovery," explained Ms. Wiley.

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., provides must-have content and services to customers worldwide. Its core businesses include scientific, technical, and medical journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley has publishing, marketing, and distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb. Wiley's Internet site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.