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Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding achievement in the physical, biological, and social sciences through its awards program.


  • Nominate Outstanding Scientists for 2018 NAS Awards
    Nominations are now being accepted online for NAS awards to be presented in 2018. Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including neuroscience, food and agriculture sciences, structural biology, psychology, and many more. Read More 

  • New Award Announced: Michael and Sheila Held Prize 
    The Prize honors research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. This $100,000 Prize was established by the bequest of Michael and Sheila Held, and will be presented annually beginning in 2018. Read More 

  • 2017 NAS Awards Ceremony Recording Available
    The 2017 NAS awards were presented during a ceremony at the NAS 154th Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 30. Watch the Ceremony

Featured Award

Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal

The Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal is awarded every two years for outstanding research in the medical sciences. The medal carries with it a $25,000 award, and an additional $50,000 for research.

The most recent recipient, Huda Y. Zoghbi, received the 2016 Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal. Zoghbi has combined cell biology, mouse genetics, and human clinical genetics to reveal fundamental mechanisms underlying a wide range of diseases and disorders. She has shaped the study of neurodegenerative diseases in which the underlying problem is often a protein that accumulates and is toxic to cells; Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are the most famous members of this family of “proteinopathies.” She has provided compelling insights into the spinocerebellar ataxias, identifying a promising therapeutic target for spinocerebellar ataxia Type 1. And she has made huge contributions to knowledge about Rett syndrome, a form of autism. In 1999, Zoghbi discovered that the syndrome is caused by mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2, which is involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. This established Rett syndrome as an epigenetic disease and showed that autism can be a genetic disorder caused by largely sporadic mutations. Read more about Zoghbi's work.

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