Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Robert Lefkowitz Received Albany Prize in 2007
ALBANY, N.Y, October 10, 2012-A second recipient of the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research has this week been named a Nobel Prize winner. Robert Lefkowitz, M.D., who received the Albany Prize in 2007 for his pioneering research on cell receptors that led to the development of many important drugs, today was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Brian Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine.
Earlier this week, stem cell pioneer Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., of Kyoto University in Japan was announced as one of two winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine. He was honored just last year with the Albany Prize.
Dr. Lefkowitz becomes the fifth Nobel Prize winner who was previously an Albany Prize recipient. In addition to Dr. Yamanaka, the others are Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., Bruce Beutler, M.D., and the late Ralph Steinman, M.D.
The $500,000 Albany Prize is the largest award in medicine and science in the United States. In total, 21 world-renowned investigators have been recipients of this prestigious award since its inception in 2001.
“We are proud to be among those who have honored Dr. Lefkowitz for his transformational work, and we join in celebrating his well-deserved honors,” said James J. Barba, president and chief executive officer of Albany Medical Center and chairman of the Albany Prize National Selection Committee. “His work has had profound impact on the development of new medications for so many people.”
Dr. Lefkowitz, a professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Duke University Medical Center, was honored in Albany as one of three investigators who determined how cells communicate with their environment through the use of receptors, or signaling pathways. Their groundbreaking discoveries of how receptors transmit signals from hormones, drugs and other stimuli to trigger action within the cell helped give rise to a new and rapid phase of drug development, including many of today’s most commonly used prescription drugs, such as better, safer beta blockers, cortisone, antihistamines, anti-depressants, estrogens, and contraceptives.
The two other 2007 recipients were Solomon Snyder, M.D., of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Ronald Evans, Ph.D., of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with 350 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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