The 34th annual Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards, presented Nov 15, honored three scientists who have contributed to two areas of widely divergent scope—the molecular structure of DNA and the anatomic basis of brain function.
One award was shared by Walter Gilbert, PhD, and Frederick Sanger, PhD, for independently developing techniques that allow rapid determination of the nucleotide sequence of DNA.
The other went to Roger W. Sperry, PhD, for his studies on the formation of nerve connections during development and the role of the right half of the brain in higher cognitive function.
In addition, the Albert Lasker Special Public Service Award, presented this year for only the 11th time, honored Sir John Wilson, CBE, of England, for his efforts to establish worldwide programs for the prevention and treatment of blindness.
Wilson, 60, who was himself blinded in a childhood accident, graduated with honors from Oxford University. After proposing