LOUNSBERY AWARD RECIPIENTS
2023: MICHELLE MONJE
Michelle Monje, MD, PhD is a Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Her research program focuses at the intersection of neuroscience and brain cancer biology, with a particular focus on mechanisms and consequences of neuron-glial interactions in health, glial dysfunction in neurological disease and neuron-glial interactions in malignant glioma. Together with these basic studies, her research program has advanced preclinical studies of novel therapeutics for pediatric high-grade gliomas and cancer therapy-related cognitive impairment in order to translate new therapies to the clinic.
Claire Wyart, a research director at the Paris Brain Institute, studies genetics, physiology, and behavior to understand how sensory stimuli are integrated by the spinal cord during development and locomotion. Wyart and her lab have made pioneering strides in neuromodulation—neuronal therapy that can regulate nervous tissue function—the study of spinal cord curvature in relation to cerebrospinal fluid, and treatment of spinal cord trauma. She uses zebrafish to unravel the mechanisms that ensure long-term neurological homeostasis.
Feng Zhang, from MIT, Harvard, the McGovern Institute, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is a leader in the genetic biology field, developing CRISPR tools with the potential to diagnose and treat disease. He and his team created these molecular tools with the goal of better understanding various disorders, especially those affecting the nervous system. Additionally, Zhang has championed the open sharing of his technologies, accelerating research around the globe.
Marie Manceau, from the Collège de France, and her team have used an innovative process to study the evolution of animal patterns in nature by using the plumage of birds and other vertebrae. Often diving down to the molecular level, Manceau has established a vast and unique network of collaborations with breeders, hobbyists, zoos, and local and distant governments, as well as creating a breeding facility at the Collège de France. She continues to play a large role in the field of evolutionary developmental biology.
Jay Shendure, University of Washington, is a pioneer and leader in genomics who has developed new technologies that make DNA sequencing faster, cheaper, and more valuable—work that is transforming genetics and medicine. Shendure’s innovations began with his doctorate in 2005 when he co-developed one of the first methods for massively parallel or next-generation DNA sequencing.
Yohanns Bellaïche, CNRS Research Director, Deputy Director of the genetic and developmental biology unit of the Institut Curie was the recipient of the award in 2018. Bellaïche is recognized for his work on the genetic and mechanical regulation that underlies tissue proliferation, homeostasis and repair in physiological and pathological conditions (using sophisticated imaging, genetics, large-scale molecular approaches, and computational analyses) including the mechanisms of local and long-range mechano-sensing during cytokinesis that remodel the dividing cell adherens junction.
PARDIS CHRISTINE SABETI
For her groundbreaking contributions to genetics and global health, including development of new methods to study evolutionary selection in humans and viruses, creation of new collaborative models for combating emerging diseases across disciplinary and national borders, and leadership of global efforts to increase data sharing in pandemics including Ebola and Lassa Fever.
For his work in Structural Biology (by X-ray diffraction and cryo-electron microscopy methods) on the regulation of gene expression at both the transcriptional level (structures of the nuclear receptors to retinoic acid and vitamin D) and the protein translation level (initiation and termination complexes, and the structure of the human ribosome).
For her work probing the molecular basis of how adaptation to novel selective pressures establishes and sustains diversity during evolution. Her tour-de-force transdisciplinary studies have illuminated a fundamental mechanism by which complex behaviors can evolve through multiple genetic changes each affecting distinct behavioral modules.
MICHAEL S. BROWN & JOSEPH L. GOLDSTEIN
The original recipients of the Richard Lounsbery Award, Brown and Goldstein conducted significant research concerning cholesterol biosynthesis. For their work, both won the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine 1985. Brown and Goldstein also diligently collaborated with Richard Lounsbery's wife, Vera, to establish the Award and elevate its importance to today's levels.
2014 | FRÉDÉRIC SAUDOU For his major contributions to the understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms causing Huntington’s disease. His findings represent a seminal discovery in the understanding of Huntington’s disease and an important step towards a future therapeutic strategy.
2013 | KARL DEISSEROTH For his seminal work in the field of optogenetics, in which insertion of a single bacterial protein into a neuron allows the cell to be controlled with light. Optogenetics has been successfully utilized in landmark studies of human diseases, most noticeably Parkinson's Disease.
2012 | OLIVIER POURQUIÉ For his work in embryonic patterning in vertebrates and particularly in the genetic and developmental mechanisms that control segmentation.
2011 | BONNIE L. BASSLER For her pioneering discoveries of the universal use of chemical communication among bacteria and the elucidation of structural and regulatory mechanisms controlling bacterial assemblies.
2010 | GÉRARD KARSENTY For his work on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the formation and the remodeling of bone.
2009 | CORNELIA I BARGMANN For her extraordinarily inventive and successful use of molecular and classical genetics to probe the individual nerve cell basis of behavior in C. elegans.
2008 | JEAN-LAURENT CASANOVA For his contributions to the understanding the genetic basis of the predisposition to viral and bacterial diseases of childhood, which have important clinical implications for the diagnostic and management of infectious diseases.
2007 | XIAODONG WANG For his pioneering biochemical studies on apoptosis, which have elucidated a molecular pathway leading into and out of the mitochondrion and to the nucleus.
2006 | CATHERINE DULAC For her major contributions in the perception and behavioral translation of pheromones in mammals.
2005 | JOHN KURIYAN For his critical role in revealing the structural mechanisms underlying processivity in DNA replication and the regulation of tyrosine kinases and their interacting target proteins.
2004 | BRIGITTE KIEFFER For her pioneering work on the molecular neurobiology of opioid-controlled behaviors, the results of which have very important implications for the treatment of pain, drug abuse, and emotional disorders.
2003 | CAROL W GREIDER For her pioneering biochemical and genetic studies of telomerase, the enzyme that maintains the ends of chromosomes in eukaryotic cells. *Carol Greider received the Nobel Prize in 2009.
2002 | DENIS LE BIHAN For his work on the invention and development of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging of brain diffusion and perfusion. The method he developed permits in vivo mapping of nerve fiber bundles and has multiple applications in both medical pathology and cognitive science fields.
2001 | ELAINE FUCHS For her fundamental insights into structure and function of cytoskeletal proteins and the relation of these proteins to human genetic diseases.
2000 | MIROSLAV RADMAN For his contribution to the discovery of the molecular mechanisms implicated in the replication and repair of DNA, in particular, the discovery of a key enzyme of the DNA repair mechanism.
1999 | ELLIOT M MEYEROWITZ For his pioneering contributions to the molecular genetics of plant architecture, which have practical implications for agriculture.
1998 | PASCALE COSSART For her fundamental discoveries in microbiology dealing with mechanisms of bacterial entry and intracellular host motility.
1997 | JAMES E ROTHMAN For his dissection of the biochemical mechanisms by which proteins are transferred from one cellular compartment to another and to the outside world. These mechanisms are important in neurotransmission, tissue biogenesis, and hormonal secretion.
1996 | DANIEL LOUVARD & JACQUES POUYSSÉGUR For their contributions to the study of the regulation of cell division and differentiation.
1995 | DOUGLAS A MELTON For showing how cells and tissues differentiate during vertebrate development through studies on localized mRNAs in eggs and the genes that induce mesoderm and neural tissue.
1994 | JEAN-LOUIS MANDEL For his work in human genetics and in particular for his discovery of the mutation of fragile X. This new type of mutation has now been found at the origin of the diseases.
1993 | STANLEY B. PRUSINER & BERT VOGELSTEIN For their distinct and exciting discoveries about the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and malignant diseases. This award is given as a celebration of the power of modern molecular medicine. *Stanley Prusiner received the Nobel Prize in 1997.
1992 | PHILIPPE ASCHER & HENRI KORN For their discoveries of the mechanisms of synaptic transmission. Philippe Asher furthered knowledge regarding the properties of glutamate receptors which play an important role in trials, and Henri Korn brought to light the elementary liberation of neurotransmitter in quanta form in the central nervous system of vertebrates.
1991 | MARC W. KIRSCHNER For elucidating key steps in the cell cycle, chromosome movement, cell cycle timing, nucleus breakdown and reformation, and microtubule control of cell polarity and mitosis.
1991 | HAROLD M. WEINTRAUB For elucidating a molecular mechanism by which a single regulatory gene can lead to a program of cell differentiation.
1990 | JEAN ROSA For his contributions, which have opened a new road in the control of oxygen transport in the blood and the treatment of the first worldwide genetic plague, drepanocytosis.
1989 | RICHARD AXEL For his discoveries elucidating gene structure in animal cells. *Richard Axel received the Nobel Prize in 2004.
1988 | FRANÇOIS CUZIN For his original contributions in the elucidation of the mechanisms involved in malignant cell transformation, in particular, demonstration of the necessary contribution of two oncogenes.
1987 | ALFRED G. GILMAN & MARTIN RODBELL For their discoveries regarding the proteins and mechanisms that mediate cellular responses to the binding of ligands to cell surface receptors. *Both Alfred Gilman and Martin Rodbell received the Nobel Prize in 1994.
1986 | ANDRÉ CAPRON & JACQUES GLOWINSKI For their fundamental work, which has contributed to the treatment of parasitic and neurological diseases.
1985 | MARTIN GELLERT & THOMAS MANIATIS For their seminal contributions to our understanding of the structure and function of DNA, which were essential and fundamental to the development of recombinant DNA techniques.
1984 | MAXIME SCHWARTZ For his genetic and biochemical analysis of the maltose system of E.Coli, which paved the way for the solution of a series of fundamental problems in molecular biology.
1983 | GÜNTER BLOBEL For his work in uncovering the molecular interactions that control the traffic of newly synthesized proteins in eukaryotic cells, for his incisive experiments, and for the beauty of the findings by which he established these interactions. *Günter Blobel received the Nobel Prize in 1999.
1982 | PIERRE CHAMBON & JEAN-PIERRE CHANGEUX For their work on fundamental structures of genetic material and of the nervous system.
1981 | PHILIP LEDER For his series of notable contributions in molecular genetics, which help to explain the means by which genetic information is organized and used to direct the synthesis of specific cell products.
1980 | FRANÇOIS MOREL For his work on the physiology of the kidney.
1979 | MICHAEL S. BROWN & JOSEPH L. GOLDSTEIN For their work in cholesterol biosynthesis.