Titia de Lange, Leon Hess Professor and head of the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics at Rockefeller University, has received the 2011 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science for her body of research on mechanisms that help maintain genome stability. The prize includes a $100,000 cash award and a trophy created by noted designer Stefan Sagmeister.
The Vilcek Prizes embody the Vilcek Foundation’s mission to publicize and celebrate the accomplishments of foreign-born artists and scientists. de Lange, who was born in the Netherlands, and her colleagues study telomeres, the elements that protect chromosome ends from unnecessary repair and mediate their replication. This work has led to a greater understanding of how telomeres protect chromosome ends, and what happens when telomere function is lost during the early stages of tumorigenesis.
In addition to the Vilcek Prize, de Lange has received the 2010 Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, the 2008 Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Prize, the 2005 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, and the 2001 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research. de Lange is also an American Cancer Society Research Professor, and serves as associate director of Rockefeller’s Anderson Center for Cancer Research. She is an elected member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine.
Maria Freire, president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, will present the 2011 Vilcek Prizes for Biomedical Science at the Vilcek Foundation’s annual awards presentation dinner in New York City in April.