Stanley B. Prusiner: Nobel Prize
in Physiology or Medicine-1997
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Stanley B. Prusiner is an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1997, for his discovery of Prions-a new biological principle of infection.
Prusiner was born on May 22, 1942, in Des Moines, Iowa. He is the son of Miriam and Lawrence Prusiner, whose grandfather, Ben, immigrated from Russia to the United States in 1896. Prusiner’s father was a communication officer in World War II and he spent the remainder of the war on Eniwetok Island, where the first hydrogen bomb was detonated ten years later.
He attended the University of Pennsylvania where he received a B.S. Degree in Chemistry and an M.D. He did his medical internship at the University of California at San Francisco.
After his internship, he went to the National Institutes of Health, where he studied glutaminases in E. coli. In 1974, he joined the faculty of the University of San Francisco’s neurology department. He has remained here in various positions.
Stanley B. Prusiner has received many honors and awards:
● Elected to the National Academy of Science, 1992
● Elected to the National Academy of Science Governing Council, 2007
● Elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993
● Royal Society, England, 1996
● American Philosophical Society, 1998
● Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2003
● Potamkin Prize for Alzheimer’s Disease Research from the American Academy of Neurology, 1991
● The Richard Lounsberry Award for Extraordinary Scientific Research in Biology and Medicine from the National Academy of Sciences, 1993
● The Gairdner Foundation International Award, 1993
● The Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, 1994
● The Paul Ehrlich Prize from the Federal Republic of Germany, 1995
● The Wolf Prize in Medicine from the Wolf Foundation, State of Israel, 1996
● Keoi International Award for Medical Science, 1996
● The Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University, 1997
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