Warren Alpert Foundation Prize

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The Warren Alpert Foundation Prize is awarded annually to scientist(s) whose scientific achievements have led to the prevention, cure or treatment of human diseases or disorders, and/or whose research constitutes a seminal scientific finding that holds great promise of ultimately changing our understanding of or ability to treat disease. The prize was established in 1987 by the late philanthropist and businessman Warren Alpert[1] and the Warren Alpert Foundation.

The Warren Alpert Prize is given internationally and since its inception, 10 winners have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.[2]

The prize is administered in concert with Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts and the Warren Alpert Foundation, located in Providence, Rhode Island. An annual symposium is held at Harvard Medical School each fall where the recipient(s) present their work. The prize currently includes $500,000,[3] a citation and plaque.

Warren Alpert Foundation Prize Recipients[edit]

Year Recipient(s) Citation Nationality
2019 Ed Boyden, Karl Deisseroth, Peter Hegemann, Gero Miesenböck For pioneering work in the field of optogenetics, a revolutionary technique that uses light and genetic modification to control the activity of cells in the brain.  United States



2018 Francis Collins, Paul Negulescu, Bonnie Ramsey, Lap-Chee Tsui, Michael Welsh For identifying faulty gene behind devastating disease, development of precision-targeted therapies  United States China
2017 Arlene Sharpe, Harvard Medical School, Gordon Freeman, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Lieping Chen, Yale University, James P. Allison, University of Texas and Anderson Cancer Center, Tasuku Honjo, Kyoto University For their collective contributions to the pre-clinical foundation and development of immune checkpoint blockade, a novel form of cancer therapy that has transformed the landscape of cancer treatment.[3]  United States Japan
2016 Rodolphe Barrangou, North Carolina State University, Philippe Horvath, DuPont, Jennifer Doudna, University of California, Berkeley, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology and Umeå University, Virginijus Šikšnys, Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology For their remarkable contributions to the understanding of the CRISPR bacterial defense system and the revolutionary discovery that it can be adapted for genome editing [4]  France United States


2015 Ruth Sonntag Nussenzweig and Victor Nussenzweig, NYU Langone Medical Center, Tu Youyou of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing For their pioneering discoveries in chemistry and parasitology, and their personal commitment to translating these discoveries into effective chemotherapeutic and vaccine-based approaches to controlling malaria[5]  United States China
2014 Dr. Oleh Hornykiewicz, Medical University of Vienna, Roger A. Nicoll, University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Solomon H. Snyder, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine For seminal contributions to our understanding of neurotransmission and neurodegeneration.[6][7]  Austria  United States
2013 Dr. David Botstein, Princeton University, Ronald W. Davis, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Dr. David Hogness, Stanford University School of Medicine For their seminal contributions to the concepts and methods of creating a genetic map in the human, and of positional cloning, leading to the identification of thousands of human disease genes and ushering in the era of human genetics.[6][8]  United States
2012 Dr. Julian Adams, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Kenneth C. Anderson, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Alfred L. Goldberg, Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Paul G. Richardson, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute[9] For the discovery, preclinical and clinical development of bortezomib to FDA approval and front line therapy for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma.[6]  United States
2011 Dr. Alain Carpentier, Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou, and Dr. Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology For their application of bioengineering principles to fundamental improvements in human health.[6][10]

 United States


2009-2010 Dr. Howard Green, Harvard Medical School For development of methodologies for the expansion and differentiation of human keratinocyte stem cells for permanent skin restoration in victims of extensive burns.[6][11]  United States
2008 Dr. Lloyd Aiello, Joslin Diabetes Center For the discovery, characterization and implementation of laser panretinal photocoagulation, which is used to treat proliferative diabetic retinopathy[6]  United States
2007 Harald zur Hausen and Lutz Gissmann, German Cancer Research Center For work leading to the development of a vaccine against human papillomavirus.[12]  Germany
2006 Dennis Slamon, UCLA, Robert Weinberg, MIT, Michael Shepard, Receptor BioLogix, Inc, and Axel Ullrich, Center for Molecular Medicine, For their work in identifying HER-2/neu as an oncogene and development of the anti-HER-2/neu monoclonal antibody Herceptin for breast cancer therapy.[13]  United States  Germany
2005 M. Judah Folkman, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital For discovering tumor angiogenesis, and for pioneering work in the development of antiangiogenic therapies for cancer.[6]  United States
2004 Susan Band Horwitz, Albert Einstein College of Medicine For her seminal contributions to the understanding of how the antitumor agent Taxol kills cancer cells.  United States
2003 Sidney Pestka, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, David Goeddel, Tularik, Inc., and Charles Weissmann, Imperial College School of Medicine, London For purification and characterization of interferon alpha; cloning of the human interferon alpha gene and mass production of recombinant interferon alpha for cancer treatment and treatment of hepatitis C.[6]  United Kingdom  United States
2002 Alfred Sommer, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health For epidemiologic insight into the effects of Vitamin A deficiency, and the resulting reduction in childhood mortality worldwide.[6]  United States
2001 Eugene Braunwald, Harvard Medical School, and Barry Coller, Rockefeller University School of Medicine. For work in cardiac physiology and pathophysiology, leading to the use of monoclonal antibodies to platelet surface antigens in antithrombotic therapy.[6]  United States
2000 David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology, Brian Druker, Oregon Health Sciences University, Nicholas Lydon, Amgen, Inc., Alex Matter, Novartis Pharma AG, and Owen Witte, University of California, Los Angeles. For Development of Abl kinase inhibitors for use in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia[6]  United States  Switzerland
1999 Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Akira Endo (biochemist), Tokyo Noko University For Development of HMG CoA reductase inhibitors.[6]  United States  Japan
1998 K. Frank Austen, Harvard Medical School For elucidating the role of leukotrienes in asthma.[6]  United States
1997 Robert C. Gallo, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Luc Montagnier, Queens College, New York For isolation of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.[6]  United States  France
1996 Leo Sachs, Weizmann Institute of Science, and Donald Metcalf, University of Melbourne For discovery of blood cell growth factors.[6]  Israel  Australia
1995 John A. Clements, University of California, San Francisco For discovery of lung surfactant, and development of synthetic lung surfactant therapy for Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome.[6]  United States
1994 J.R. Warren, Royal Perth Hospital, and Barry J. Marshall, University of Virginia For linking gastric ulcers to the H. pylori bacterium.[6]  Australia
1993 Stuart H. Orkin, Harvard Medical School. For genetic and molecular mechanisms of Βeta-Thalassemia and other blood disorders.[6]  United States
1992 Roscoe O. Brady, National Institutes of Health For treatment for Gaucher’s Disease.[6]  United States
1991 David W. Cushman and Miguel A. Ondetti, Bristol Myers-Squibb For ACE inhibitor therapy for hypertension and heart failure.[6]  United States  Argentina
1990 No prize awarded.[6]
1989 Yuet Wai Kan, University of California, San Francisco For prenatal genetic screening for blood diseases.[6]  United States
1988 Louis Kunkel, Harvard Medical School For discovery of the gene associated with a major form of muscular dystrophy.[6]  United States
1987 Kenneth Murray (biologist), University of Edinburgh For development of a vaccine against Hepatitis B.[6]  Scotland


  1. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (2007-03-10). "Warren Alpert, 86, Entrepreneur, Is Dead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  2. ^ "2019 Warren Alpert Prize Recipients Announced | Warren Alpert Foundation Prize". warrenalpert.org. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  3. ^ a b "Prize | Warren Alpert Foundation Prize". warrenalpert.org. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  4. ^ "Alpert Prize Recognizes CRISPR Pioneers". Warren Alpert Foundation. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  5. ^ "2015 Waren Alpert Foundation Prize recognizes Malaria Breakthroughs". Warren Alpert Foundation. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Warren Alpert Foundation Prize announcement". Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  7. ^ Office of Communications and External Relations, Harvard Medical School. "Warren Alpert Foundation Prize Recognizes Leaders in Brain Research". Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  8. ^ Office of Communications and External Relations, Harvard Medical School. "Alpert Foundation Recognizes Genetic Pioneers". Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  9. ^ Conaboy, Chelsea (13 June 2012). "$250,000 Warren Alpert prize goes to researchers for work on blood cancer drug". Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  10. ^ Office, MIT News. "Langer wins 2011 Warren Alpert Prize". Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  11. ^ Schorr, Melissa (22 April 2012). "Harvard biologist Dr. Howard Green's $250,000 prize". Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  12. ^ Medical School, Harvard. "HPV, cervical cancer link earns scientists Alpert Prize". Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  13. ^ Medical School, Harvard. "Alpert Winners Trace Path to Life-saving Drug". Retrieved 13 July 2012.

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