Prestigious Awards Presented at Opening of Precision Medicine World Conference 2017

This year’s Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) in California’s Silicon Valley (January 23-25) ( kicked off with a Sunday evening awards presentation that recognized the major contributions of four prominent scientists. Pioneer Awards were presented to James Allison, Ph.D., Chair of Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for his seminal work in the areas of immunology and immunotherapy for cancer, and to Stephen Quake, Ph.D., Professor of Engineering, at Stanford University for his work in biological measurement and in genomics. Luminary Awards were presented to Edward Chang, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of California-San Francisco, for his work in developing advanced neurophysiologic brain mapping methods of both speech and motor circuits to enable safer neurosurgery techniques, and to Jennifer Doudna (photo), Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California-Berkeley for her work in launching the revolutionary field of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. Dr. Allison was one of the first to identify the T-cell receptor and he showed that the CD28 molecule acts as the T-cell’s gas pedal, and in 1995 he identified the T-cell’s brakes. This work led to the development of the antibody drug ipilimumab that targets CTL-4, blocking the T-cell brakes and unleashing a strong immune response that has proven effective in cancer therapy. Dr. Allison’s body of work underpins the tremendous recent advances in immunotherapy for cancer. Dr. Quake has pioneered innovative approaches to biological measurement, including the invention of microfluidic large-scale integration, the biological equivalent of the integrated circuit, which has enabled large-scale automation of biology.
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