The 2017 Crafoord Prize has been conferred upon two American and one Japenese scientists for their fundamental discoveries in immune regulation.
- The awardees of the scientific prize include Japan’s Shimon Sakaguchi of Osaka University, Fred Ramsdell from the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in San Francisco, and Alexander Rudensky of the New-York-based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of America.
- They will share the six million Swedish krona, or $660,000, award.
- The researchers are being rewarded for their work on the discovery of regulatory T cells, which function as security guards for the immune system by curbing overzealous white blood cells that attack healthy cells in the body.
- The work has lead to open way for the transformative treatments for autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, MS and type 1 diabetes.
About Shimon Sakaguchi
Shimon is an immunologist and a Distinguished Professor of Osaka University.
- He is best known for the discovery of regulatory T cells and to describe their role in the immune system. This discovery is used in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.
About Fred Ramsdell
Fred Ramsdell, Ph.D. is the vice president, immunology of a Tyr Pharma.
- He has more than 20 years of experience in immunological research and drug discovery. Since 1996, Dr. Ramsdell has led drug discovery programs.
- He received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from University of California, Los Angeles and his B.S. in biochemistry and cell biology from University of California, San Diego.
About Alexander Rudensky
Alexander Rudensky is an immunologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center known for his research on regulatory T cells and the transcription factor Foxp3.
- Rudensky received his PhD from the Gabrichevsky Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow, and completed his postdoctoral work at the Yale School of Medicine.
- Presently he is the Chairman of the Immunology Program and Director of the Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
- He is also the professor at the Rockefeller University, Cornell University, Gerstner School of Graduate Studies, and Weill-Cornell Medical School.
About Crafoord Prize
- The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger Crafoord, a Swedish industrialist, and his wife Anna-Greta Crafoord. It is one of the highest scientific award in the world.
- The prize is awarded in four categories: astronomy and mathematics; geosciences; biosciences, with particular emphasis on ecology; and polyarthritis.
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences gives it annually to honor outstanding achievements which is often not recognized by the famous Nobel Prize.
- It has a prize money of 6 million krona.
- The first women to receive the award was Andrea Ghez.