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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.


  • Paul Farmer to Receive 2018 NAS Public Welfare Medal
    Paul Farmer, physician, anthropologist, and humanitarian, will receive the 2018 Public Welfare Medal for “pioneering enduring, community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and other countries.”  The medal is the Academy's most prestigious award, established in 1914 and presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Read more»

  • NAS Honors 19 for Major Contributions to Science
    The National Academy of Sciences will honor 19 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences. Read more»
  • Michael and Sheila Held Prize: Inaugural Recipients Announced
    Prasad Raghavendra of University of California, Berkeley and David Steurer of ETH Zurich are the inaugural recipients of the Michael and Sheila Held Prize for revolutionizing our understanding of optimization and complexity in computer science. They will share a $100,000 prize. Read more»

Featured Award

NAS Award in Molecular Biology

The NAS Award in Molecular Biology annually recognizes recent notable discovery in molecular biology by a young scientist.

The NAS Award in Molecular Biology was first awarded in 1962 to Marshall Nirenberg for his studies of the molecular mechanisms for the biosynthesis of protein. Over the past 50 years the NAS Award in Molecular Biology has continued to recognize many outstanding young biologists and has been a been a precursor to numerous National Medals of Science and Lasker Awards, and fifteen Nobel Prizes.

Rodolphe Barrangou, received the 2017 NAS Award in Molecular Biology. Beginning with their landmark paper in 2007, Barrangou and his collaborators’ discovery that bacteria have adaptive immune systems has catalyzed the manipulation of the CRISPR-Cas9 pathway for genome engineering. The worldwide attention devoted to this discovery led to the expansion of investigations into CRISPRs and their associated Cas proteins, allowing researchers to address questions of bacterial survival, population diversity and evolutionary dynamics. Through all of this, Barrangou has continued to lead the field of CRISPR research and the practical application of bacterial adaptive immunity in food fermentation and a way to eventually improve human health.Read more about Barrangou's work.»

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