BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhuanet)-- Seymour Benzer, an 84-year-old
biologist at the California Institute of Technology, was awarded the $500,000
Albany Medical Center Prize, US the richest prize in medicine and
biomedical research on Friday. His pioneering research in genetics has led to
the exploration of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Benzer also made discoveries that bridged the gap
between DNA and the structure of the gene, which ultimately led to the Human
Genome Project, an effort to map and sequence the three billion letters in the
Benzer has received 40 major awards, including the
Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the National Medal of Science
and the Peter Gruber Award for Neuroscience.
The Albany Medical Prize award, which is the only to
the $1.4 million Nobel Prize in cash value. was established in 2000 by a $50
million gift from the late Morris "Marty" Silverman, a New York City businessman
who wanted to encourage health and biomedical research. Silverman died in
January at age 93.
Past recipients of the prize include Stanley N. Cohen
and Herbert W. Boyer, whose research discovering gene cloning paved the way for
the modern biotechnology industry, and Anthony S. Fauci, who was recognized in
2002 for his seminal work on AIDS and other diseases of the immune system.