Opening remarks by Joseph Goldstein
James Reston was perhaps our most influential journalist during his 50 years as a columnist and editor for The New York Times. Reston once wrote that America turns to the sports pages before it turns to the editorials and pays more attention to Maris vs. Ruth than Khrushchev vs. Kennedy. According to Reston, baseball is more popular than foreign policy because in baseball the results are definitive. You know immediately when you hit a home run, and you don’t have to wait 25 years to see how the thing comes out.
Biomedical research is both like baseball and foreign policy. Like Babe Ruth, each of our seven 1998 Lasker Award honorees made a scientific hit early in his or her career. But unlike Babe Ruth, they did not know right away whether their hit was a home run or simply a long fly ball. It took more than 20 years to find out. In this regard, their lives are more like those of Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright than Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
But scientists, diplomats, and home run hitters do share one thing in common: they all face a lot of curve balls! Today, I’m here to tell you that all seven of our Lasker winners have enjoyed lifelong scientific success. They not only hit home runs; they also hit grand slams.
1998 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury
First Row, left to right: David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology ● James Fordyce, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation ● Suzanne Cory, The Royal Melbourne Hospital ● Jordan Gutterman, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center ● Joseph Goldstein, Chair of the Jury, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Michael DeBakey, Chair Emeritus of the Jury, Baylor College of Medicine ● Philippa Marrack, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Jewish Medical and Research Center ● William Paul, National Institutes of Health
Second Row, left to right: Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory ● Brigid Hogan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center ● Eric Kandel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons ● Leon Rosenberg, Princeton University ● Charles Sherr, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ● Mary Ellen Avery, Harvard Medical School ● Michael Brown, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Alfred Gilman, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ● Michael Welsh, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Iowa Medical Center
Third Row, left to right: Günter Blobel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University ● Edward Harlow, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center ● Stuart Kornfeld, Washington University School of Medicine ● Thomas Stossel, Brigham & Women’s Hospital ● Charles Stevens, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Salk Institute ● Martin Raff, University College London ● Ira Herskowitz, University of California School of Medicine ● Don Wiley, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University