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Robert J. Lefkowitz, MD

Robert J. Lefkowitz, MD

Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina

Class of 2013

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.

Career Highlights

2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
2011 George M. Kober Medal, Association of American Physicians
2009 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award
2009 Research Achievement Award, American Heart Association
2007 U.S. National Medal of Science, National Science Foundation
2007 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine
2007 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research
2003 Fondation Lefoulon, Delalande Grand Prix for Science, Institut de France
2001 Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal of the USA, National Academy of Sciences
1994 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
1992 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research
1988 Gairdner Foundation International Award
1988 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
1988 Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1966 MD, Columbia University