The World Cultural Council has awarded Paul Nurse, president emeritus and head of the Laboratory of Yeast Genetics and Cell Biology at The Rockefeller University, its Albert Einstein World Award of Science. The award honors those whose research has brought “true benefit and well-being to mankind,” and acknowledges Nurse’s long-term work as a scientific leader committed to excellence in learning, research, health and education.
The award consists of a diploma, a commemorative medal and a $10,000 prize, and will be presented in October at the organization’s 30th award ceremony at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The committee which determines the winners is made up of world renowned scientists, including 25 Nobel laureates.
The World Cultural Council is an international organization, founded in 1981 and based in Mexico, whose mission is to promote culture, values and goodwill. It bestows two other annual awards: the José Vasconcelos World Award of Education and the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts.
The prize recognizes Nurse’s accomplishments as one of the world’s leading biochemists and geneticists. Nurse shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase — proteins that that drive the eukaryotic cell cycle and help determine cell shape and dimensions. His work has had special importance for understanding cell growth, development and cancer.
Nurse became Rockefeller University’s ninth president in 2003 and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 1999 he was honored with knighthood in Great Britain for services in cancer research and cell biology and since 2000 has been a member of the UK Council for Science and Technology advising the prime minister. In 2010, he became the 60th president of The Royal Society in the UK. He became director of the Francis Crick Institute in London in 2011, but retains a laboratory at The Rockefeller University. He is also a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
Nurse is the first member of the Rockefeller faculty to win this award.