The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Awards 2024 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences to Howard Y. Chang, M.D., Ph.D

NORTH BETHESDA, Md., June 4, 2024 — The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) has named Howard Y. Chang, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, as the recipient of the 2024 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Chang and his team revealed the vital importance of long noncoding RNA – genetic material that does not code for proteins – in gene regulation and its impact on human diseases, including cancer and autoimmunity.

“Dr. Chang’s work unveiling the noncoding genome represents a landmark achievement in advancing our understanding of cancer and autoimmune diseases,” said Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, President and CEO of the FNIH. “His research embodies the innovative spirit of the Lurie Prize. It has significantly contributed to our understanding of how genes are controlled and has helped lay the groundwork for developing new and more effective therapies for these diseases.”

“Our research seeks to understand a new class of genes, called long noncoding RNAs, that help cells decide and remember their cell fates. This is paving the way for future treatment for diseases such as cancer and autoimmunity,” Dr. Chang said. “I am delighted to receive the 2024 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences. I am very honored and humbled by this great recognition.”

Dr. Chang is the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research and professor of dermatology and genetics at Stanford University and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His discovery of long noncoding RNA and its role in gene regulation helped shed light on the 98% of the human genome that does not code for proteins. The discovery followed the Chang team’s development of a new genomic technology called ATAC-seq, which was a million times more sensitive than previous methods in mapping active DNA regulatory elements and transformed the field of epigenetic research. Recently, the team published research suggesting that Xist, a type of long noncoding RNA, may help explain why autoimmune diseases are more common in women than men.

Currently in its 12th year, the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement by promising scientists aged 52 years old or younger. The prize includes a $100,000 honorarium, made possible by a donation to the FNIH from philanthropist Ann Lurie, President of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation and President of Lurie Holdings, Inc.

“Dr. Chang’s impressive work significantly advances our understanding of the human genome. I’m excited to see how his research will continue to bear fruit and inspire scientists for years to come,” Ms. Lurie said.

A jury of distinguished biomedical researchers selected Dr. Chang as this year’s Lurie Prize recipient. The jury is co-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 and Cynthia Wolberger, PhD, Professor of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Director of the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, and Brown Advisory Colleagues Professor in Scientific Innovation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The 2024 Lurie Prize will be awarded at the 12th annual FNIH Awards Ceremony on the evening of October 29, 2024, in Washington, D.C. The Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists and the Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Partnership Award also will be presented.

The FNIH gratefully acknowledges our Annual Awards Ceremony Premier Sponsors, Fred and Donna Seigel, and our Visionary Sponsors, Paul and Sandra Montrone, Dr. Gilbert S. Omenn and Ms. Martha A. Darling, and Steven and Jann Paul, MD.

For more information about the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences and a list of previous winners, please visit

About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) builds public-private partnerships that connect leading biomedical scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with their counterparts in life sciences companies, academia, patient organizations, foundations, and regulatory agencies (including the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency). Through team science, the FNIH solves complex health challenges and accelerates breakthroughs for patients, regardless of who they are or what health threats they face. The FNIH contributes to the development of new therapies, diagnostics, and potential cures; advances global health and equity in care; and celebrates and helps train 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

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