TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- James P. Allison, Ph.D., and Frances H. Arnold, Ph.D., both Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), were awarded the Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Chemistry, respectively.
Allison was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, sharing the honor with Dr. Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University. Allison and Honjo received the prize "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation."
"I was trying to understand how T cells worked," Allison told Adam Smith, an interviewer for TheNobelPrize.org. "I figured out this one thing about this negative regulator, and I had this idea that if we just took that off, maybe it would do a better job of killing cancer cells. Turns out it works."
Allison was elected Fellow of the NAI in 2017. He also received the Wolf Prize in Medicine in 2017, and he received the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2015.
Arnold received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the directed evolution of enzymes." She conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes in 1993.
"I was able to look at the problem with a totally fresh set of eyes – a problem that had challenged people since the techniques were available," Arnold said in a phone interview, moments after receiving the award. "I realized that the way that most people were going about protein engineering was doomed to failure."
Arnold has since refined the methods that are now routinely used to develop new catalysts. She was elected Fellow of the NAI in 2014. She was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014, and she received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011.
"We are thrilled to congratulate Allison and Arnold on these momentous achievements," said Paul R. Sanberg, President of the NAI.
About the National Academy of Inventors
The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 at the University of South Florida to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. www.academyofinventors.org
SOURCE National Academy of Inventors