LA JOLLA, CA-For the second time in its 50-year history, the Salk Institute will award its Research Excellence and Public Service Medals. Gene expression pioneer Robert G. Roeder of The Rockefeller University will be awarded the Salk Institute Medal for Research Excellence. Irwin M. Jacobs, the renowned engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, will be awarded the Salk Institute Medal for Public Service.
"The Institute's 50th anniversary is the perfect moment to recognize the extraordinary contributions of our medalists," said Salk President William R. Brody in announcing the honors. "The Salk Institute medals are a fitting tribute to their ongoing, vital contributions to science and society. And our founder, Jonas Salk, would have been absolutely delighted by the medalist selection."
"Robert Roeder's contributions to the understanding of RNA synthesis in animal cells are unparalleled in modern science, while Irwin Jacobs' twin careers as a high-tech entrepreneur and a philanthropist who has improved many lives superbly captures the intended spirit of the public service medal honor," Brody said.
Roeder, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is internationally regarded for his work on how genes are expressed in healthy cells, and how this process breaks down in diseases like cancer. He is the recipient of the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation's Alfred P. Sloan Prize, and many others.
As Head of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Rockefeller, and holder of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Chair, Roeder continues to probe gene expression using biochemical tools, including the cell-free system he developed to recreate cellular functions in a test tube.
In selecting Roeder to receive the Salk Institute Medal for Research Excellence, the faculty committee, chai
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