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5 Pioneering Scientists Win Lasker Medical Prizes

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

Akira Endo, a Japanese scientist whose discovery of the first cholesterol-lowering statin drug helped extend the lives of millions of people, is one of five winners of this year's Lasker Awards for medical research, it was announced Saturday.

An American microbiologist, Stanley Falkow of Stanford University, was honored for greatly expanding knowledge of disease-causing microbes, ranking him as "one of the greatest microbiologists of all time," the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation said in making the awards.

A third award went to two Americans and a Briton for their pioneering look into a previously unknown universe of potent molecules, tiny ribonucleic acids known as micro-RNAs. The Americans are Victor R. Ambros, 54, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and Gary B. Ruvkun, 56, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The Briton is David C. Baulcombe, 56, of the University of Cambridge.

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