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Ronald M. Evans receives prestigious Wolf Prize

Ronald Evans

Ronald Evans

Ronald Evans, professor and head of the Salk Institute's Gene Expression Laboratory, has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2012 Wolf Prize in Medicine, Israel's highest award for achievements benefiting mankind. According to the Wolf Prize jury, Evans was selected for his discovery of the gene super-family encoding nuclear receptors and elucidating the mechanism of action of this class of receptors.

Evans, holder of the March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology, is world renowned for his seminal research into nuclear hormone receptors, which has since led to more than a half-dozen drugs for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Israel President Shimon Peres will present Evans with the award at a special ceremony at the Knesset, the House of Representatives for the state of Israel, in Jerusalem on May 13.

Evans is only the second Salk scientist to be chosen for the Wolf Prize; Tony Hunter received it in 2005. Wolf Prizes have been awarded since 1978 to outstanding scientists and artists for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples, irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex or political view." Prizes of $100,000 in each area are given every year in agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine and physics, as well as one prize in the arts. Over a third of the 272 Wolf Prize winners in medicine, physics and chemistry have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.

The Wolf award honor comes on the heels of another distinguished benchmark in Evans's list of achievements. In 2010, on behalf of the Aventis Foundation and an elite selection committee, he was named a Rolf Sammet Guest Professor at Goethe University. As a Sammet professor, he spent a week in Frankfurt in 2011, teaching internationally outstanding scientists who make important research contributions in life and natural sciences.