Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences

Lurie Prize Overview

Zhijian “James” Chen, Ph.D.In 2018, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) presented the sixth annual Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences to Zhijian “James” Chen, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Chen solved a century-old mystery about DNA by discovering the enzyme cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and its corresponding pathway. Read more in this press release.

Lurie PrizeThe Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences is a $100,000 award recognizing outstanding achievement by a promising young scientist in biomedical research. The award is made possible by a generous gift from philanthropist Ann Lurie.

The award was presented at the FNIH Award Ceremony, hosted by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, on Wednesday May 16, 2018 in Washington, D.C. To learn more, visit

Former Prize Recipients

Read more about the former Lurie Prize recipients here.

2017: David M. Sabatini, M.D., Ph.D.
Member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; Professor of Biology,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2016: Jeannie T. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
Molecular Biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital; Professor of Genetics,
Harvard Medical School

2015: Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D.
D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
Stanford University

2014: Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology,
University of California, Berkeley

2013: Ruslan M. Medzhitov, Ph.D.
David W. Wallace Professor of Immunobiology,
Yale University School of Medicine

About Ann Lurie

A full biography and description of Ann Lurie’s philanthropic philosophy and accomplishments can be found at