Environmental Factor, October 2008, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
NIEHS Distinguished Lecturers Honored
By Eddy Ball
On September 29 during an award ceremony at the White House, Duke University investigator Robert Lefkowitz, M.D., and Baylor College of Medicine researcher Bert O'Malley, M.D., received the 2007 National Medal of Science in the biological sciences, the nation's highest award for science and engineering. Lefkowitz spoke at the 2008 Rodbell Lecture (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2008/june/hhmi.cfm) at NIEHS on May 5, and O'Malley delivered the May 2007 Distinguished Lecture, as reported in the June 2007 (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2007/june/science-distinguished.cfm) issue of the Environmental Factor.
Lefkowitz and O'Malley were among eight scientists in the biological sciences, chemistry, engineering and physical sciences who were honored for what the National Science Foundation (NSF), which administers the award (http://www.nsf.gov/od/nms/medal.jsp) , describes as "pioneering scientific research that has led to a better understanding of the world around us as well as to innovations and technologies that give the United States its global economic edge."
Lefkowitz (http://www.biochem.duke.edu/faculty/robert-lefkowitz) is the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Duke University Medical School and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He was honored for his research into understanding the largest, most important and most therapeutically accessible receptor system that controls the body's response to drugs and hormones.
O'Malley (http://www.bcm.edu/cmb/?pmid=2375) is a professor and chairman of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Baylor College of Medicine. The Medal of Science recognizes his work on the molecular mechanisms of steroid hormone action and hormone receptors and coactivators, which has had a profound impact on our knowledge of steroid hormones in normal development and in diseases.
Since its establishment by Congress in 1959, the nation has honored 441 distinguished scientists and engineers with the medal. The NSF is currently accepting nominations through December 5, 2008 for the 2009 National Medal of Science, which will be awarded next fall.