NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Rockefeller University today announced that JoAnne Stubbe, PhD, will receive the 2017 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, the preeminent international award honoring outstanding women scientists. Dr. Stubbe, who is the Novartis Professor of Chemistry and Biology Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive the 14th annual Prize in a ceremony at Rockefeller on November 7, 2017. Paula A. Johnson, MD, MPH, president of Wellesley College, will present the award.
Dr. Stubbe illuminated the mechanism of ribonucleotide reductase—the enzyme responsible for converting ribonucleotides, the building blocks of RNA, into deoxyribonucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. Ribonucleotide reductase is a proven target for three currently used cancer therapies, and Dr. Stubbe's research on mechanism-based inhibitors of reductase led to the development of the pancreatic cancer drug gemcitabine. Stubbe, in collaboration with biochemist John Kozarich, elucidated the mechanism of bleomycin, an antitumor therapeutic commonly used in the treatment of lymphoma and other malignancies.
President Barack Obama presented Dr. Stubbe with the National Medal of Science in 2009. She is the recipient of the Welch Award in Chemistry, the Franklin Medal in Chemistry, and many other accolades.
"Dr. Stubbe has revealed a key part of the complex chemistry underlying the biology of life, and her unique approach has led to profound findings about the catalytic processes that drive DNA replication and repair—the essential functions of life and heredity," said Dr. Paul Greengard, Vincent Astor Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Rockefeller. Greengard and his wife, the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, founded the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize in 2004. Dr. Greengard, who shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to understanding nerve cell communication in the brain, has been a lifelong advocate for women scientists. He donated his Nobel honorarium to Rockefeller to found the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, naming the award after his mother, who died during his birth.
"It's an incredible honor to be chosen to receive the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize—especially when I look at the extraordinary list of women who have received this award before me," said Dr. Stubbe. "There were very few women in chemistry during the early years of my career, and while so much has changed, supporting and spotlighting the work of women scientists is still very important. My own mother and grandmother were strong, amazing women who encouraged me to pursue my passions, and I'm grateful to Dr. Greengard for creating such a special tribute to women in honor of his own mother."
The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize carries a $100,000 honorarium, and Prize winners are chosen by a committee of ten scientists, four of them recipients of the Nobel Prize.
Paula A. Johnson, who will present the award, is the president of Wellesley College, as well as a former faculty member at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A renowned cardiologist and women's health advocate, Dr. Johnson was among the first researchers to highlight the role of sex differences in medical care and treatment.
The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize ceremony is open to the public, but registration is required. For more information, please visit www.rockefeller.edu/greengard-prize
About The Rockefeller University
The Rockefeller University is the world's leading biomedical research university and is dedicated to conducting innovative, high-quality research to improve the understanding of life for the benefit of humanity. Our 82 laboratories conduct research in neuroscience, immunology, biochemistry, genomics, and many other areas, and a community of 1,800 faculty, students, postdocs, technicians, clinicians, and administrative personnel work on our 14-acre Manhattan campus. Our unique approach to science has led to some of the world's most revolutionary and transformative contributions to biology and medicine. During Rockefeller's 116-year history, 25 of our scientists have won Nobel Prizes, 22 have won Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards, and 20 have garnered the National Medal of Science, the highest science award given by the United States.
Katherine Fenz, Media Relations Manager
SOURCE The Rockefeller University