Lasker Award Winners

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dr. Arthur Horwich, from Yale University, and Dr. F. Ulrich Hartl, from the Max Plank Institute in Germany, won this year’s Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. They’ll explain their discovery of “chaperone assisted protein folding,” a seminal finding that has allowed many of the modern breakthroughs in molecular biology and biotechnology, paving the way for advances in research into everything from Alzheimer’s Disease to Mad Cow Disease. Their discoveries are now part of the basic tool box scientists use to build experiments that give them a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms that comprise all life.


Dr. F. Ulrich Hartl and Dr. Arthur Horwich

Comments [9]

maureen from Rockland County.

Just wanted to commend Andy Borowitz on this interview.You may be a "layperson" but your natural intelligence and curiosity made for a fine and informative interview.I for one loved the inclusion of humor.Too often we treat science and scientists with an exaggerated, religious deference,you managed to reveal their human side without detracting from their incredible achievements,a fine line indeed.I'm married to a research scientist who constantly despairs of the almost contemptuous attitudes towards science and it's extraordinary achievements that seems to be taking hold in society today especially toward climate science.He thinks it's the product of right wing propagandists particularly the energy industry.It was really refreshing to hear an interview where these dedicated scientist's enormous contribution to social good was acknowledged,it makes a change from Kim Kardashian and her gazillion dollar wedding.Believe me,scientists are not in it for the money.Keep up the good work.

Sep. 24 2011 01:50 PM
Paul from New York, NY

Have you identified any specific mutations functionally responsible for human disease and have you found any mutations, in yeast or otherwise, that cause proteins to fold too-fast, and therefore improperly.

Sep. 22 2011 12:37 PM
Amy Wright from Bronx

My mother died from amyloidosis-cardiac in 2006. What are the implications of this discovery in terms at that disease?

Sep. 22 2011 12:27 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

could your guests help us understand whether there was a significant level of alzheimers patients whose diagnoses of kreutzfeld-jacob disease were missed because of the cellular similarity of these two diseases? i recall federal health authorities insisting that no americans fell victim to the latter, perhaps in an attempt to prevent hysteria over our beef supply.

Sep. 22 2011 12:26 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Do the effects of how a protein is folded have anything to do with which of its amino acids are on the surface & which are folded to the inside? Do some of these structures act as receptors, so different ones are available?

What role do the chaperones play in the way prions cause normal proteins to re-fold to the prion shape? Do they "overrule" the normal molecule's chaperones or convert them?

Sep. 22 2011 12:25 PM
smh from CT

Please convey thanks to your guests; I'm a lay person and they're doing a fine job of explaining it. Assume you will get into its potential applications, even though we understand it is basic research.

Sep. 22 2011 12:22 PM
Mrs. Brown from Montclair

This topic holds special significance in my life; my mom died of Huntington's and early-onset Alzheimers. We were told from Columbia University's brain bank that she is the only known case to have had both diseases. I can't thank you enough for your research.

Sep. 22 2011 12:18 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Andy said:
“My science understanding is above Michelle Bachmann, below Rick Perry.”


Seriously though Andy, I suspect that you’re not that bad.

Sep. 22 2011 12:17 PM
Jeff from NYC

A lot of us are into these guests even if we are not science people -- Andy, please resist the temptation to get zany, they are academics, they are not going to work with you like it's a bit, they'll just stop.


Sep. 22 2011 12:16 PM

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