The 2007 Lasker Awards, sometimes called "America's Nobels", were announced on Sept. 15.
The Lasker Award for Outstanding Basic Medical Research was awarded to Dr. Steinman of Rockefellar University for his discovery of dendritic cells, a type of immune cell that plays a key role in the immune systems of humans and other mammals. His research has led to new insights into HIV, allergies and other autoimmune diseases. Dr. Steinman has received at least a dozen U.S. patents (5,851,756, 5,994,126, 6,602,709, 7,198,948, etc.) related to his research.
Drs. Albert Starr of the Providence Health System in Portland, Oregon and Alain Carpentier of Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou in Paris will share the Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research for their contributions to open-heart surgery. In 2000, Dr. Starr received a U.S. patent (6,045,576) for a sewing ring used in the implantation of prosthetic heart valves. He has also received patents for his invention in Australia (AU727250), Canada (CA2303289), Europe (EP1600127) and Japan (JP3701198). Dr. Carpentier has received more than 30 U.S. patents for various devices related to heart surgery, including several prosthetic heart valves (4,106,129, 4,790,843, 5,814,100, 6,558,418, etc.), and has filed dozens of patent applications worldwide.
The Lasker Awards have been awarded by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation in almost every year since 1944.