Deborah E. Wiley, Chair of The Wiley Foundation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa & JWb), announced today that the twelfth annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences will be awarded to Dr. Michael Young, Rockefeller University, Dr. Jeffrey Hall, Brandeis University (Emeritus), and Dr. Michael Rosbash, Brandeis University.
The Wiley Prize is being awarded to Dr. Young, Dr. Hall and Dr. Rosbash for the discovery of the molecular mechanisms governing circadian rhythms.
"The molecular network discovered by these researchers imparts cyclic behavior to many biological processes including sleep and wakefulness, metabolism and even the response to drugs," said Dr. G-nter Blobel, Chairman of the awards jury for the Wiley Prize.
Studies of the molecular basis for circadian rhythmicity began in the early 1980s in the laboratory of Dr. Young at Rockefeller University and Drs. Hall and Rosbash at Brandeis. Over the past three decades the work of the three investigators focused on the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. Their research has shown that the fly's circadian clocks are formed through the actions of a small group of genes.
These discoveries apply not only to insects but also to humans and other mammals, and they could ultimately lead to the development of drugs to treat sleep disorders and related ones such as jet lag, plus maladies associated with shift-work.
The Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences recognizes contributions that have opened new fields of research or have advanced novel concepts or their applications in a particular biomedical discipline. It honors a specific contribution or a series of contributions that demonstrate significant leadership and innovation. This year's award will be presented to Dr. Rosbash, Dr. Hall and Dr. Young on April 5, 2013 at The Rockefeller University in New York City.
Dr. Blobel, a John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Professor of Cell Biology at The Rockefeller University, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1999. The Wiley Prize awards jury also includes Dr. Qais Al-Awqati, a physiologist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons; Dr. David J. Anderson, a developmental neurobiologist at the California Institute of Technology; Dr. Joan A. Steitz, a molecular biologist at Yale University; and Dr. H. Robert Horvitz, a biologist at MIT and recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
Last year's Wiley Prize recipients were Dr. Michael Sheetz, Dr. James Spudich, and Dr. Ronald Vale for explaining how cargo is moved by molecular motors along two different systems of tracks within cells. The three researchers also received the 2012 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for their discoveries concerning cytoskeletal motor proteins.
Among the many distinguished past recipients of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, five have also been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Carol Greider, recipients of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences in 2006, received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. Dr. Andrew Z. Fire and Dr. Craig C. Mello, co-recipients of the Wiley Prize in 2003, received the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of RNA interference-gene silencing by double-stranded RNA. Dr. H. Robert Horvitz, a co-recipient of the first Wiley Prize in 2002, shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his respective work on how genes regulate organ development and cell death.