Lynne E. Maquat, Ph.D., the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, is the recipient of the 2018 Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences. The award honors scientists who challenge accepted thinking and work tirelessly to open new fields of research and understanding in the biomedical sciences.
The founding director of the University of Rochester’s Center for RNA Biology, Maquat has spent her career deciphering the many roles that RNA plays in sickness and in health. She’s an international leader in the field and is credited with several major discoveries that are informing a new generation of therapies for a wide range of genetic disorders.
The Wiley Prize Jury, composed of highly regarded scientists from institutions across the country, singled out Maquat for her work on nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), an important surveillance system in the body. NMD protects against mistakes in gene expression that lead to disease. She acknowledges continuous support from the National Institutes of Health for the past 35 years, without which her research would not have been possible.
Also a professor in the Wilmot Cancer Institute, Maquat is the recipient of several other prestigious honors: the Canada Gairdner International Award (2015); the RNA Society’s Lifetime Achievement Awards in Service (2010) and in Science (2017); the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science (2017); and election to the National Academy of Medicine (2017), the National Academies of Sciences (2011) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006).
The 17th winner of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Science, Maquat will receive the award on April 13 and deliver an honorary lecture as part of The Rockefeller University Lecture Series.
The Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences was first awarded in 2002. Among the many distinguished recipients of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, nine have gone on to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and two have gone on to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The University of Rochester Medical Center is home to approximately 3,000 individuals who conduct research on everything from cancer and heart disease to Parkinson’s, pandemic influenza and autism. Spread across many centers, institutes and labs, our scientists have developed therapies that have improved human health locally, in the region and across the globe. To learn more, visit www.urmc.rochester.edu/research.