NIAID Director Among Four Winners of Lasker Prize

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been named one of four winners of the 2007 Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service for his role in developing two major U.S. public health programs, in AIDS and biodefense. The award will be presented Sept. 28 in New York.

Fauci, an internationally known immunologist, has directed the National Institutes of Health's NIAID since 1984. He is being honored as the principal architect of two major Bush administration programs: the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Project Bioshield, designed to accelerate the research, development, purchase, and availability of medical countermeasures against the effects of biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear agents. The Lasker Foundation also cited Fauci for his role "in explaining issues of great concern like the science behind emerging biological hazards" to the public.

Sharing the award are two surgeons who developed prosthetic heart valves--Drs. Alain Carpentier of the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris and Albert Starr of the Providence Health System in Portland, Ore. The fourth winner, announced by the foundation Sept. 15, is Dr. Ralph M. Steinman of Rockefeller University in Manhattan for his discovery of and research on a cell that initiates immune responses that defend the body against microbes, which is now the basis of experimental therapies for cancer and other diseases.

The Lasker Awards, considered one of the nation's most prestigious medical prizes, were first presented in 1946, and are administered by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. Drs. Fauci and Steinman will each receive $150,000, and Drs. Starr and Carpentier will each receive $75,000. More information about the awards and their recipients is available at www.laskerfoundation.org.

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