For the discovery and development of propofol, a chemical whose rapid action and freedom from residual effects have made it the most widely used agent for induction of anesthesia in patients throughout the world.
The 2018 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award honors John B. (Iain) Glen (retired from AstraZeneca), who discovered and developed propofol, a chemical whose rapid action and freedom from residual effects have made it the most widely used agent for induction of anesthesia in patients throughout the world. In 2016, the World Health Organization deemed propofol an “essential medicine” and at the time of that decision, more than 190 million people had received the drug.
What Makes a Piece of Art or Science a Masterpiece?
Critics of art and philosophers of science have long wrestled with the question of what elevates a piece of art or a set of experiments to masterpiece status.
Award presentation by Lucy Shapiro
In 1846, Henry Jacob Bigelow introduced ether as an anesthetic for surgical patients and changed the face of medicine. 130 years later, beginning in the 1970s, Iain Glen guided the transformation of 2,6 diisopropylphenol from a chemical solvent to the most transformative anesthetic since ether.
Acceptance remarks by John B. Glen
It is indeed a great honour to accept this award, and to be here today among so many brilliant scientists. Science can be a lonely occupation if you are ploughing a new furrow in an open field, difficult if you encounter stony ground and very rewarding if you get a good harvest at the end.
It was my interest in science and my experience of being brought up on a farm that led me to study veterinary medicine at Glasgow University in Scotland. After graduation, I elected to remain in the academic environment, first as a house surgeon in the surgery department at the University Veterinary Hospital, and following study for a recently introduced diploma in Veterinary Anesthesia became a veterinary anesthesiologist at the University.
2018 Clinical Award video