The FNIH Awards 2023 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences to Navdeep S. Chandel, Ph.D. and Vamsi Mootha, M.D.
North Bethesda, MD, August 10 – The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) has named Navdeep S. Chandel, Ph.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Vamsi Mootha, M.D., of Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Harvard Medical School, as recipients of the 2023 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences. Each has made important and distinct discoveries in the field of mitochondrial science by exploring the characteristics and functions of mitochondria in human physiology and disease.
“Each of this year’s Lurie Prize recipients are breaking new ground in mitochondrial research,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, President and CEO of the FNIH. “Drs. Chandel and Mootha embody the innovative spirit of the Lurie Prize as they advance our understanding of the many roles these complex structures play in health and disease.”
Dr. Navdeep Chandel is the David W. Cugell Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The Chandel research team has shown that mitochondria do much more than supply energy to cells. His research team has revealed how mitochondria function as signaling organelles that control the body’s normal functions and impact diseases, including cancer and inflammation.
“Mitochondrial signals are critical regulators and unraveling their complex functions could advance the design of new therapies,” said Dr. Chandel. “Receiving the Lurie Prize honors the entire past and present Chandel Lab. It is a celebration of my mentors, collaborators, and my mentees and a recognition of the importance of progress in the mitochondrial field.”
Dr. Vamsi Mootha is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, investigator in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, a member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and a professor of Systems Biology and Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory team combines genomics and computation with classic biochemistry and physiology to gain a holistic view of the genes and proteins relevant to mitochondrial function. Although mitochondria contain their own DNA that encodes just 13 proteins, the Mootha research team has identified the other 99% of mitochondrial proteins encoded by nuclear DNA and compiled their findings in a widely used reference tool used to discover new protein functions and disease genes.
“I’ve dedicated much of my research career to treating these organelles as a ‘system,’ trying to define all of their individual components, how they operate together, and uncovering what happens when they are disrupted,” said Dr. Mootha. “I am deeply humbled to receive the Lurie Prize. I have been lucky to assemble an amazing group of multidisciplinary researchers who work in synergy to impact science and medicine. This award really honors the contributions of past and present lab members.”
Currently in its 11th year, the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement by promising scientists aged 52 years old or younger. The prize includes a $50,000 honorarium to each awardee, made possible by a donation to the FNIH by philanthropist Ann Lurie, President of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation and President of Lurie Holdings, Inc.
“The creative research of Drs. Chandel and Mootha is unlocking the secrets of mitochondria and their critical role in health and disease. I look forward to seeing the continued impact of their work and their influence on future generations of scientists,” said Ann Lurie.
A jury of distinguished biomedical researchers selected Drs. Chandel and Mootha as this year’s Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences recipients. The jury is chaired by Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology & Psychiatry, Founder and past Director of The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, and Vice Chairman of the FNIH Board.
The 2023 Lurie Prize will be awarded to both recipients at the FNIH 11th Annual Awards Ceremony on the evening of October 18, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The sixth annual Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists will also be presented during the ceremony, as well as the Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Partnership Award.
FNIH gratefully acknowledges our Annual Awards Ceremony Visionary Sponsors: The Gerberding-Rose Family Fund, GSK, Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, and Fred and Donna Seigel.
For more information about the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences and a list of previous winners, please visit fnih.org/LuriePrize.
About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) builds agile platforms based on a team science approach that connect leading biomedical scientists at NIH with their counterparts in life sciences companies, academia, and foundations. Together, we solve complex health challenges and accelerate breakthroughs for patients, regardless of who they are, where they live, or what disease they have. FNIH seeks new therapies, diagnostics, and potential cures; advances global health and equity in care; and celebrates and trains the next generations of scientists. Established by Congress in 1990 to support the mission of the NIH, the FNIH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information about the FNIH, please visit fnih.org
Geralyn LaNeve/FNIH: [email protected]