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Vilcek Prize for Biomedical Science split between 2 giants of immunology
Date:2/7/2013

me eliminated from the body, and an in-depth analysis of the cellular and molecular basis of autoimmunity. Dr. Flavell is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Medzhitov has been with Yale University School of Medicine since he emigrated from Russia and joined his former mentor, the late Dr. Charles Janeway, as a postdoctoral fellow. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and received the prestigious Shaw Prize in 2011. Currently, Dr. Medzhitov is exploring three areas of interest: the relationship between inflammation and human diseases; the role of the immune system in allergic reactions; and the social behavior of cells within an organism.

The Vilcek Foundation is also awarding three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, recognizing younger immigrant scientists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement. Each prizewinner must not be more than 38 years old, and in a position to lead independent research.

Hashim Al-Hashimi Born in Lebanon, Dr. Al-Hashimi is the J. Lawrence Oncley Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Al-Hashimi develops methods that combine nuclear magnetic resonance and computational approaches to visualize the dynamics of cellular molecules and processes, such as DNA replication, at an atomic resolution. Analysis of his first target twelve years ago, the HIV RNA molecule, revealed that RNA structures were not static; instead, they morphed into various structures, each with a distinct function. This opened the possibility of RNA-based therapeutic treatments. Currently, Dr. Al-Hashimi characterizes RNA molecules, including HIV RNA, in hopes of identifying small molecules with potential anti-HIV activity. In 2009, he founded the biotechnology company Nymirum, to focus on computational RNA-targeted drug discovery.

Michael Rape Ubiquityla
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Contact: Joyce Li
joyce.li@vilcek.org
212-472-2500
Vilcek Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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