The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced the winners of the 2013 Lasker Awards.
The 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award was given to Richard H. Scheller of Genentech and Thomas C. Südhof of the Stanford University School of Medicine for their discoveries concerning rapid neurotransmitter release, a key process in the way brain cells communicate. The 2013 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award was presented to Graeme M. Clark of the University of Melbourne (emeritus), Ingeborg Hochmair of MED-EL, and Blake S. Wilson of Duke University for developing the modern cochlear implant, which enables profoundly deaf people to hear. And the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award was given to Bill and Melinda Gates "for leading a historic transformation in the way we view the globe's most pressing health concerns and improving the lives of millions of the world's most vulnerable." The awards, considered among the most prestigious honors in medical science, include an honorarium of $250,000 in each category.
"Bill Gates and Melinda Gates are profoundly generous philanthropic leaders committed to finding solutions to some of the world's toughest, most neglected health problems," said Lasker Foundation board chair Alfred Sommer. "Driven by their ardent belief that all people deserve a chance to live a healthy, productive life, they have acted boldly to prevent human suffering on a wide scale."
Established in 1942, the Lasker Foundation has worked for nearly seventy years to foster the prevention and treatment of disease and disabilities by honoring excellence in basic and clinical science, educating the public, and advocating for support of medical research.