British researcher John Gurdon and Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka have won the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for their work in stem cell research. The duo discovered that it was possible to change adult cells into stem cells which can then become any other type of cell in the body. The discovery could mean that there is a possibility to repair the heart after a heart attack or stop the progress of Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Gurdon first cloned an animal, a frog, in 1962 and Dr. Yamanaka discovered the proteins that could convert an adult cell into an egg-like state. Both men had overcome troubling starts in their scientific pursuits in life. Dr. Gurdon was given a negative report by a high school biology teacher who encouraged him not to pursue science and Dr. Yamanaka gave up his surgical training after discovering that he was not so talented. The two will share the $1.8 million dollar award.
Gurdon and Yamanaka were acknowledged for the scientific work in 2009 when they received the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. The Lasker Awards, presented by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, are given for “outstanding accomplishments in basic medical and clinical medical research, and public service.” Long recognized as one of the most prestigious scientific and medical awards in the United States, many Lasker Award recipients later receive a Nobel Prize for their contributions to science.
Since 1995, Malcolm Grear Designers has had the privilege to work with the Lasker Foundation, designing the Lasker Awards, along with the Foundation’s visual identity and numerous collateral materials.