New York, NY, February 7, 2013 The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to name Richard A. Flavell and Ruslan Medzhitov as the co-winners of the 2013 Vilcek Prize for Biomedical Science. Drs. Flavell and Medzhitov, both professors at Yale University School of Medicine and investigators with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, were selected for their research that elucidated the fundamental roles of the innate immune system.
"We are pleased to honor two truly outstanding scientists. The pioneering work of Ruslan Medzhitov and Richard Flavell has led to important insights into the mechanisms of the immune responses, which has implications for many fields of biomedical studies," said Jan Vilcek, President of the Vilcek Foundation.
Awarded annually, the Vilcek Prizes recognize immigrants who have made significant contributions to the American arts and sciences, and include $100,000 cash awards. This year the prize has been split between two winners in the field of biomedical science.
Although the work of Drs. Flavell and Medzhitov spans a wide range of topics in immunology, they are perhaps best known for their contributions to the understanding of the innate immune system, the host defense system that detects hostile pathogens in the human body and triggers a response from the more differentiated adaptive immune system. Seminal publications authored by Drs. Medzhitov and Flavell have elucidated many molecular processes underlying innate immune responses. In addition to broadening fundamental knowledge of the human immune responses, the research has opened up new possibilities for treating immune-related disorders and diseases.
Dr. Flavell is a native of the United Kingdom, and is currently the Department Chair and Sterling Professor of Immunobiology. His current projects include studies of the molecular mechanisms of differentiation of white blood cells called T lymphocytes, studies of mechanisms whereby immune cells beco
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