Robert J. Lefkowitz, MD
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, James B. Duke Professor of Medicine; Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
A celebrated scientist, Dr. Lefkowitz’s contributions have been pivotal to the overall comprehension of signal transduction complexity, most notably his discoveries of the structure and function of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), especially the adrenergic family of receptors. In addition to the characterization of the largest class of membrane receptors, Dr. Lefkowitz is also credited with defining regulatory mechanisms responsible for modulating the function of GPCRs. He was the first to discover the existence and function of G protein–coupled receptor kinases and arrestins, two types of proteins capable of altering GPCR function.
Dr. Lefkowitz’s studies have been essential for the expansion of cancer pharmacology and drug development as evidenced by the prominence of GPCRs among current pharmaceutical targets for a variety of diseases, including cancer. His efforts have been recently rewarded by the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry2011 George M. Kober Medal, Association of American Physicians2009 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award2009 Research Achievement Award, American Heart Association2007 U.S. National Medal of Science, National Science Foundation2007 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine2007 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research2003 Fondation Lefoulon, Delalande Grand Prix for Science, Institut de France2001 Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal of the USA, National Academy of Sciences1994 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine1992 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research1988 Gairdner Foundation International Award1988 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.1988 Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences1966 MD, Columbia University