Yale University's Arthur Horwich and Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry's Franz-Ulrich Hartl have won this year's Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. In The New York Times this week, Carl Zimmer profiles Horwich, whose work Zimmer describes as spanning the worlds of both basic science and medicine. Horwich, who often collaborates with Hartl, discovered that cells contain "microscopic boxes, known as HSP60," Zimmer says, adding that those boxes are like "a changing room for proteins. Once they enter the box, proteins can fold themselves into their final shape so they can begin to do their jobs." Meanwhile, misfolded proteins have been implicated in a host of diseases, including Alzheimer's, and Horwich is working on determining whether cells can be induced to produce more HSP60 to help with protein folding and thus possibly treat disease. "The hope is that we'll get better and better at providing something for people who get sick," Horwich adds.
Arthur Horwich Wins the Lasker Award
Sep 14, 2011