Honors & Awards

Our world-class scientists, including three Nobel Laureates, have revolutionized the prevention, detection and treatment of many cancers and other diseases. Their scientific and medical work consistently wins recognition from national and international organizations.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine is awarded each year by the Swedish Karolinska Institute. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes, which were established in 1895 by the will of Alfred Nobel. The prizes have been awarded since 1901 for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine.

Dr. E. Donnall Thomas

Dr. E. Donnall Thomas (1990)

Dr. Leland “Lee” Hartwell

Dr. Leland “Lee” Hartwell (2001)

Dr. Linda Buck

Dr. Linda Buck (2004)

Dr. E. Donnall Thomas (1990)

Recognized as the father of bone marrow transplantation, Thomas was honored for his four decades of tireless, lifesaving research.

Albert Lasker Medical Research Award

Dr. Leland “Lee” Hartwell (1998)

Hartwell was one of three scientists to share the 1998 award. They were honored for discovering a universal mechanism that controls cell division in all eukaryotic organisms (organisms whose cells contain a nucleus), from yeast to frogs to humans. Hartwell also provided evidence that cells have “checkpoints” for detecting and repairing errors that might occur during cell division. His findings on normal cell division laid the groundwork for further research on how this process goes awry in cancer cells.

The Lasker Awards are among the most respected science prizes in the world. Since 1945, the Lasker Foundation has recognized the contributions of scientists, physicians and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of human disease. Lasker Awards often presage recognition by the Nobel committee, so they have become popularly known as “America's Nobels."

Dr. Leland "Lee" Hartwell

The Gairdner Foundation International Award

The Gairdner Foundation was created in 1957 by James Arthur Gairdner to recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. Since the first awards were made in 1959, the Gairdner Awards have become Canada's foremost international award. They honor the world's most creative and accomplished researchers from every field of bioscience.

Drs. Thomas, Hartwell and Buck.
Drs. Thomas, Hartwell and Buck. Fred Hutch archive photo

Dr. E. Donnall Thomas (1990)

Thomas forever changed cancer treatment when he pioneered bone marrow transplantation. His most powerful legacy: the number of lives saved worldwide every year thanks to his work.

Dr. Leland “Lee” Hartwell (1992)

By identifying “checkpoint” genes that determine whether a cell is dividing normally, Hartwell provided important clues to cancer, which arises from uncontrolled cell growth.

Dr. Linda Buck (2003)

Buck did groundbreaking work on odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system — the network responsible for our sense of smell.

MacArthur Fellows Program

Dr. Mark Roth (2007)

Roth’s work has led to major advances in basic biology, some of which have tremendous potential for human health. In particular, his research on induced metabolic hibernation, in which he has reversibly reduced the core temperature of mice to 10 degrees Celsius without loss of life or neurological problems, could one day lead to major breakthroughs for a host of human ills caused by tissue damage from lack of oxygen, and could potentially be used to help buy time for critically ill trauma patients on organ transplant lists and in operating rooms, emergency rooms and battlefields.

The MacArthur Fellows Program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards unrestricted $500,000 fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. The criteria for selection are exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their career. Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their creative instincts for the benefit of human society.

Dr. Mark Roth in his lab.
Dr. Mark Roth in his lab.

National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences is an honorific society of distinguished scholars who are engaged in scientific and engineering research and dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and their use for the general welfare. The NAS was signed into being by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863, at the height of the Civil War. As mandated in its Act of Incorporation, the NAS has served to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.

Members

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  • Dr. E. Donnall Thomas (1982) – deceased
  • Dr. Harold Weintraub (1986) – deceased
  • Dr. Lee Hartwell (1987)
  • Dr. Bob Eisenman (1998)
  • Dr. Mark Groudine (2001)
  • Dr. Linda Buck (2003)
  • Dr. Steve Henikoff (2005)
  • Dr. Dan Gottschling (2011)
  • Dr. Sue Biggins (2015)
  • Dr. James Priess (2017)
  • Dr. Harmit Malik (2019)

Other Notable Honors & Awards

Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies

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The nation turns to the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) for science-based advice on matters of biomedical science, medicine and health. A nonprofit organization specifically created for this purpose as well as an honorific membership organization, the Institute of Medicine was chartered in 1970 as a component of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Dr. Maureen Henderson (1974) - deceased
  • Dr. Ross Prentice (1990)
  • Dr. Mark Groudine (2003)
  • Dr. Linda Buck (2006)
  • Dr. Lawrence Corey (2008)
  • Dr. Eric Holland (2009)
  • Dr. Nancy Davidson (2011)
  • Dr. Thomas Fleming (2012)
  • Dr. Frederick Appelbaum (2013)
  • Dr. Gary Gilliland (2015)

American Academy of Arts & Sciences

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For more than 225 years, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has been honoring excellence and providing service to the nation and the world. Through independent, nonpartisan study, its ranks of distinguished “scholar-patriots” have brought the arts and sciences into constructive interplay with the leaders of both the public and private sectors. The Academy was founded during the American Revolution by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other leaders who contributed prominently to the establishment of the new nation, its government and its constitution. Its purpose was to provide a forum for a select group of scholars, members of the learned professions, and government and business leaders to work together on behalf of the democratic interests of the republic. Today the Academy is an international learned society with a dual function: to elect to membership men and women of exceptional achievement, drawn from science, scholarship, business, public affairs and the arts, and to conduct a varied program of projects and studies that are responsive to the needs and problems of society.

  • Dr. Harold Weintraub (1988) – deceased
  • Dr. Lee Hartwell (1998)
  • Dr. Robert Eisenman (2003)
  • Dr. Mark Groudine (2006)
  • Dr. Linda Buck (2008)
  • Dr. Daniel Gottschling (2010)
  • Dr. Lawrence Corey (2012)
  • Dr. Gary Gilliland (2016)
  • Dr. Sue Biggins (2018)
  • Dr. Nancy E. Davidson (2019)
  • Dr. Denise Galloway (2019)

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and it spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide.

  • Dr. Paul Neiman (1989)
  • Dr. John Potter (1990)
  • Dr. Mark Groudine (1994) 
  • Dr. Linda Buck (1998) 
  • Dr. Meng-Chao Yao (2005) 
  • Dr. Maxine Linial (2007)
  • Dr. Denise Galloway (2008)  
  • Dr. Gerald Smith (2008)
  • Dr. M. Elizabeth Halloran (2009)
  • Dr. Roger Brent (2010)
  • Dr. Robert Eisenman (2010)
  • Dr. Steven Henikoff (2012)
  • Dr. Rainer Storb (2014)
  • Dr. Adam Geballe (2017)

American Association for Cancer Research Academy

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy is to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer, and to leverage the expertise of the global brain trust of Fellows of the AACR Academy to advance AACR’s mission to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication and collaboration.

  • Dr. Lee Hartwell (2013)
  • Dr. Robert Eisenman (2015)
  • Dr. Nancy Davidson (2017)
  • Dr. Gary Gilliland (2018)
  • Dr. Fred Appelbaum (2019)
  • Dr. Philip Greenberg (2019)

European Academy of Sciences

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The European Academy of Sciences is a nonprofit, nongovernmental, independent organization of the most distinguished scholars and engineers performing forefront research and the development of advanced technologies, united by a commitment to promoting science and technology and their essential roles in fostering social and economic development.

  • Dr. Linda Buck (2009)

The Royal Society

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The U.K.-based Royal Society is a fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. The Society’s fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding charters of the 1660s, is to recognize, promote and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

  • Dr. Linda Buck (2015)

Joseph F. Fraumeni Jr. Distinguished Achievement Award (American Society of Preventive Oncology)

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The Joseph F. Fraumeni Jr. Distinguished Achievement Award is bestowed annually by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. It honors outstanding scientists in the areas of preventive oncology, cancer control and prevention. Presented since 1983, the award was renamed in 2016 in honor of renowned cancer epidemiologist Dr. Joseph Fraumeni Jr., scientist emeritus of the National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. He is perhaps best known for his discovery (along with Dr. Frederick P. Li) of an inherited increased risk of early-onset cancers known as Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.

  • Dr. John Potter (1999)
  • Dr. Polly Newcomb (2013)
  • Dr. Beti Thompson (2018)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a nonprofit research organization that engages in the direct conduct of research. The institute's original charter states, “The primary purpose and objective of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute shall be the promotion of human knowledge within the field of the basic sciences (principally the field of medical research and medical education) and the effective application thereof for the benefit of mankind.”

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators (current)
  • Dr. Steve Henikoff (1990–)
  • Dr. Harmit Malik (2013–)
  • Dr. Sue Biggins (2015–)
  • Dr. Jesse Bloom (2018–)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators (alumni)
  • Dr. Harold Weintraub (1990–1995) - deceased
  • Dr. Jim Priess (1994–2011)
  • Dr. Eric Holland (1995–1998)
  • Dr. Steve Hahn (1997–2005)
  • Dr. James Roberts (1997–2006)
  • Dr. Leonid Kruglyak (2000–2005)
  • Dr. Cecilia Moens (2000–2012)
  • Dr. Adrian Ferre D’Amare (2008–2011)
  • Dr. Linda Buck (2002–2017)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators Early Career Scientists
  • Dr. Toshiyasu Taniguchi (2009–)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators Simons Faculty Scholar
  • Dr. Jesse Bloom (2016–)

Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

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The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE, conferred annually at the White House, is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. The award embodies the government’s commitment to maintaining the nation’s leadership in science by producing outstanding scientists and engineers and nurturing their continued development.

The PECASE is intended to recognize some of the finest scientists and engineers who, while early in their research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the 21st century. The award fosters innovative and far-reaching developments in science and technology, increases awareness of careers in science and engineering, gives recognition to the scientific missions of participating agencies, enhances connections between fundamental research and national goals, and highlights the importance of science and technology for the nation’s future.

  • Dr. Effie Petersdorf (1998)
  • Dr. Cecilia Moens (2000)
  • Dr. Bill Grady (2005)
  • Dr. Harmit Malik (2009)
  • Dr. Ulrike Peters (2009)
  • Dr. Muneesh Tewari (2010)

Allen Distinguished Investigator Award

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The Allen Distinguished Investigator Award program was launched in 2010 by the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a division of the Allen Institute. The award funds early-stage research that is less likely to receive support from traditional funding sources but has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of biology. The award confers $1.5 million in research support over three years for studies of lymphoma, neuroscience, the immune system, aging and development, and basic biology.

  • Dr. Matthias Stephan (2018)

W. M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research

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The W. M. Keck Foundation’s Distinguished Young Scholars Program is a groundbreaking initiative created to give the nation’s most promising young scientists the resources needed to pursue potentially breakthrough biomedical research projects. Established as a five-year program in 1999, the W. M. Keck Foundation renewed the program for additional years in 2004 and 2008. The program ended in 2009. During its existence, it awarded nearly $55 million to 54 of America’s most promising scientists, many of whom have gone on to publish pioneering work and assume leadership positions in their field.

  • Dr. Bruce Clurman (1999)
  • Dr. Wenying Shou (2009)

Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

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The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, supports young investigators of outstanding promise in the basic and clinical sciences relevant to the advancement of human health. Nominations for the awards are invited from a limited number of institutions that are selected on the basis of the scope of their biomedical research.

  • Dr. Daniel E. Gottschling (1991)
  • Dr. Susan M. Parkhurst (1992)
  • Dr. Toshio Tsukiyama (1998)
  • Dr. Nina Salama (2002)
  • Dr. Patrick Paddison (2009)
  • Dr. Jesse Bloom (2015)

Searle Scholars Award

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The Searle Scholars Program makes grants to academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding young faculty in chemistry and the biomedical sciences. Awardees must have recently begun their first tenure-track appointment at the assistant professor level. 

  • Dr. Eric Holland (2000–2003)
  • Dr. Harmit Singh Malik (2005)
  • Dr. Toshiyasu Taniguchi (2005)
  • Dr. Phillip H. Bradley (2009)
  • Dr. Jesse Bloom (2012)

Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer Research

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The Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer Research promoted and rewarded seminal contributions to the understanding of cancer through basic cancer research.

  • Dr. Robert N. Eisenman (2002)
Last Modified, September 06, 2019