Friday, Oct. 10, 2008

Paul Greengard

American neuroscientist Paul Greengard, a professor at Rockefeller University in New York City, shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two other researchers for their discoveries involving the communication of nerve cells — work that paved the way for the eventual development of antidepressants, such as Prozac. Greengard invested the entire sum of his winnings, about $400,000, to establish a new award: the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize.

Greengard's intent in creating the $50,000 "Nobel Prize for women," which he named in honor of his mother who died giving birth to him, was to help offset bias against in women in science. In a 2006 interview with the New York Times, Greengard said, "There [is] still discrimination against women in science, even at the highest levels."

The award is administered by Rockefeller University and has been given yearly since 2004 to biomedical researchers. The fifth annual prize went this year to Vicki Lundblad at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif.; Elizabeth Blackburn, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco; and Carol Greider, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for their work in telomere biology. — R.F.