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ASBMB Members Darnell and Roeder win Nation's Largest Prize in Medicine

DarnellandRoederJames E. Darnell Jr. and Robert G. Roeder, both of The Rockefeller University and pioneers in the field of gene regulation and expression, won the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the nation’s largest prize in medicine. Darnell leads the Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology at Rockefeller, and Roeder leads the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. They will share the $500,000 prize. Medical center officials said they recognized the pair for giving medical professionals and researchers tools to improve health and combat diseases.

“Jim Darnell and Bob Roeder have been at the forefront of our understanding of gene expression since their first groundbreaking discoveries in (eukaryotic) RNA (synthesis and) processing more than 40 years ago,” Rockefeller’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, emphasized. “Their contributions to this field have provided indispensable support to scientists and physicians in the fight to understand and combat diseases like cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disorders.”

Among Darnell’s past awards are the 2003 National Medal of Science, the 2002 Albert Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science, the 1997 Passano Award and the 1986 Gairdner Foundation International Award. Roeder also has won, among others, the 2010 Salk Institute Medal for Research Excellence, the 2003 Lasker award, the 2002 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-Merck Award, and the 2000 Gairdner award.