Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia Presents 2012 Horwitz Prize to Three Scientists

Lucy Shapiro, Joe Lutkenhaus, and Richard Losick awarded 2012 Louisa Gross Horwitz PrizeColumbia University awarded the 2012 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize to Richard Losick, PhD, Joe Lutkenhaus, PhD, and Lucy Shapiro, PhD, for their collective work on the intricate, dynamic, three-dimensional organization of bacterial cells. Prior to their discoveries, the tiny bacterial cell was thought to be a “bag of enzymes” that held a jumbled mess of proteins and DNA within a “cell sap.”

“The research of these three superb pioneers helped establish the simple bacterial cell as one of the most powerful models for understanding the cycle of cell life and death,” said Gerard Karsenty, MD, PhD, chair of the Horwitz Prize Committee, and chair of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center.

The 2012 Horwitz Prize winners with Lee Bollinger (far left), Lee Goldman (far right) and Fred Chang, professor of microbiology & immunology at Columbia (second from right). Photo: Charles Manley.

Established in 1967, the Horwitz Prize is Columbia University’s top honor for achievement in biological and biochemistry research and is widely considered to be a precursor to a Nobel. Of the 87 Horwitz Prize winners to date, 42 have gone on to receive Nobel prizes.

To learn more about the Horwitz Prize and previous winners, including videos of their Horwitz Prize Lectures, click here.