The National Academy of Sciences will honor 20 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, social, and medical sciences. These include 3 members of the National Academy of Medicine; Pascale Cossart, Peter Schultz, and Tirin Moore.
Pascale Cossart is known for her pioneering contributions to the field of cellular microbiology, uncovering a variety of mechanisms that govern the interplay between the pathogenic intracellular bacterium Listeria and its mammalian host, and her many contributions to supporting microbiology worldwide. She is the leading bacteriologist and expert on Listeria monocytogenes, a deadly foodborne pathogen responsible for encephalitis, meningitis, bacteremia, gastroenteritis, and also abortions in pregnant women.
Since 1986, Cossart has investigated how bacterial pathogens interact with mammalian cells during infection. Her pioneering work recorded in detail how bacteria behave in infected hosts by using numerous strategies such as posttranslational modifications, epigenetic modifications and interference with the innate immune system.
Her groundbreaking findings on the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes have blazed a path for laboratories across the world that study bacterial infectious diseases. Her contributions to the fields of infection biology, cell biology, functional genomics and fundamental microbiology, including RNA-mediated regulations, are remarkable and advance our knowledge on human health.
In addition to her research, Pascale Cossart regularly organizes or co-organizes international meetings and courses and also events and tools for the general public, contributing to the Renaissance of Microbiology internationally.
Peter Schultz has made innovative and pioneering contributions to the interface between chemistry and biology, notably the exploitation of molecular diversity in the synthesis of new medicines and materials, and the rational expansion of the genetic code.
Schultz has demonstrated that traditional chemical tools used together with modern cellular and molecular biology methods can enable chemists to manipulate cellular machinery in amazing new ways. For example, his work has allowed us to add new building blocks to the genetic code, removing a billion-year constraint on living organisms.
Schultz has also harnessed molecular diversity to create new catalysts, medicines and materials—first in reprogramming the immune system to make enzyme-like catalysts, and more recently developing and applying the use of large combinatorial libraries to find new materials and innovative drugs for aging, cancer, and infectious disease.
Coauthor of over 600 scientific publications, Schultz is a founder of nine companies that have pioneered the application of molecular diversity technologies to address multiple challenges in human health and materials science.
Tirin Moore has made transformative contributions to our understanding of visual attention by grounding a causal link between motor control signals and the neural circuits of visual perception and attention.
His work demonstrates how neural activity in motor regions of prefrontal cortex influences visual representations in the brain. This establishes a deeper understanding of brain mechanisms underlying spatial attention, and is important to clinical understanding of attention disorders such as ADHD.
A leading investigator worldwide in the field of systems and cognitive neuroscience, Moore is an outstanding neuroscientist whose work greatly expands our understanding of the neurological origins of selective attention and motor control, constituting one of the most rigorous and focused body of work on this topic in recent years. A highly articulate member of the larger systems/cognitive neuroscience community, Moore successfully achieves dual dissemination, a gift for engaging and persuading both experts and the non-scientist public with clear and cogent communication.
The winners will be honored in a virtual ceremony during the National Academy of Sciences’ 158th annual meeting.