The Lasker Foundation 2015 Essay Contest:
The "Research Challenge"

The Lasker Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Lasker Essay Contest!

Participants in this year's contest were asked to consider the most important fundamental mystery in biology today that, if unlocked by basic research, would yield the greatest dividends for human health.

Congratulations to our 1st and 2nd place winners and to the two participants who tied for 3rd place!

The contest was open to medical school students and fellows; doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research; graduate students in public health programs; and graduate students in other health professions programs, at U.S-accredited institutions.

The Lasker Foundation received 150 essays. We thank everyone who participated and we hope that this contest will help spur a discussion about the big questions in biology today as they relate to human health.

We also asked our 2014 essay contest winner, Peter Soh, to share his thoughts about how this award has affected his professional development and his views on communicating medical and science issues with the public.


David Hill
First Place

David Hill
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Essay: Mutual understanding: uncovering the mechanistic basis of the host-symbiont relationship in human health


Joseph Rathkey
Second Place

Joseph Rathkey
Case Western Reserve University
Essay: In silico modeling as an ideal platform for future biological research and discovery


Stephanie Ng
Third Place

Stephanie Ng
Yale University
Essay: Depression and the Final Frontier


Omar Toubat
Third Place

Omar Toubat
University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
Essay: Mastering the genetic reprogramming of cells