Leukemia, stem cell scientists, get Lasker Awards

Elisabeth Weise in USA Today:

Lasker One of the most prestigious prizes in medicine is being awarded this year to scientists working on stem cells and leukemia — and to New York's mayor for his fight to cut tobacco use.

The Lasker Awards, which are announced today, have been given since 1945. They recognize the contributions of scientists, physicians and public servants internationally working to cure, treat and prevent disease.

“It's right up there with the Nobel Prize,” says Gary Sieck, a research director at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. “The people who get it are at the top.”

The Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award goes to three scientists whose turned a fatal cancer, myeloid leukemia, into a manageable condition with their discovery of the drug Gleevec (imatinib mesylate).

More here.