Opening remarks by Joseph Goldstein
The story of Szent-Gyorgyi’s discovery of vitamin C is a beautiful illustration, and it is directly comparable to the discovery of nitric oxide, which we honor today with the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. Szent-Gyorgyi began his scientific career by studying the chemical changes that occur when foodstuffs—carbohydrates, fats, and protein—undergo combustion when they are burned by cells—a process called biological oxidation. In the course of his studies he isolated a molecule from adrenal glands that lost and regained hydrogen atoms—a hydrogen carrier. This molecule contained six carbon atoms, had the properties of a sugar and an acid, and was originally named hexuronic acid (later renamed ascorbic acid).
1996 Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury
Front Row, left to right: Mrs. William McCormick Blair, Jr., Vice President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation (Non-Voting Member of the Jury) ● Jordan Gutterman, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Non-Voting Member of the Jury) ● Joseph Goldstein, Chair of the Jury, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Michael DeBakey, Chair Emeritus of the Jury, Baylor College of Medicine ● James Fordyce, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation (Non-Voting Member of the Jury) ● Neen Hunt, Executive Director, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation (Non-Voting Member of the Jury)
Second Row, left to right: Alfred Gilman, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● David Baltimore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ● Arthur Rubenstein, The University of Chicago ● David Kipnis, Washington University School of Medicine ● Robert Tjian, University of California at Berkeley ● J. Michael Bishop, University of California School of Medicine ● Mary Ellen Avery, Harvard Medical School
Third Row, left to right: Morton Swartz, Massachusetts General Hospital ● Charles Stevens, The Salk Institute ● David Weatherall, John Radcliffe Hospital ● Eric Kandel, Columbia University ● Ira Herskowitz, University of California School of Medicine ● Michael Brown, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Charles Emerson, Jr., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Fourth Row, left to right: Edward Harlow, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center ● Martin Raff, University College London ● William Paul, National Institutes of Health ● Leon Rosenberg, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ● Don Wiley, Harvard University ● Gustav Nossal, The Royal Melbourne Hospital ● Günter Blobel, The Rockefeller University ● Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory