About the Award

The Richard Lounsbery Award is a $75,000 prize given in alternate years by the National Academy of Sciences and the French Académie des Sciences, to young (no older than 45) French and American scientists to recognize extraordinary scientific achievement in biology and medicine. In addition to honoring scientific excellence, the award is intended to stimulate research and encourage reciprocal scientific exchanges between the United States and France. Nominations are being accepted now for the 2025 Award.

Jean-Léon Maître, CNRS Research Director at the Institut Curie Paris, will recieve the 2024 Richard Lounsbery Award for his outstanding and innovative work in mammalian developmental biology.

Jean-Léon Maître is focusing in particular on the very early stages in the development of mouse and human embryos, before they are implanted in the uterus. His pioneering work in this field is recognized worldwide as having opened up a new avenue for the study of early embryos, and also for helping to understand some of the problems that can arise in embryos during this critical pre-implantation period.

The laureate will present his research work at a public lecture at the Académie des Sciences on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. The prize will be awarded on October 15, 2024, at a ceremony under the dome of the Institut de France. Click here to read the full press release from the French Académie des sciences.


Award Lecture Series

Pardis Christine Sabeti, 2017 Richard Lounsbery Award recipient, presented the 2018 Lounsbery Lecture on “Genomic Surveillance and Response System for Infectious Disease Outbreaks” at University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Hopi Hoekstra, 2015 Richard Lounsbery Award recipient, presented the 2015 Lounsbery Lecture on “Digging for Genes That Affect Mammalian Behavior” at Smith College.

Award History

The Richard Lounsbery Award was established by Vera Lounsbery in honor of her husband, Richard Lounsbery, and is supported by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

First awarded in 1979 to Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein for their work in cholesterol biosynthesis, the Richard Lounsbery Award has been at the forefront of recognizing some of the most significant discoveries in the biomedical sciences by leading U.S. and French researchers.

Previous recipients of the Richard Lounsbery Award continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Five recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science, nine recipients have received a Lasker Award, and nine recipients have received a Nobel Prize in Medicine (Goldstein 1985; Brown 1985; Blobel 1999; Gilman 1994; Rodbell 1994; Axel 2004; Prusiner 1997; Rothman 2013; Greider 2009).


Most Recent Recipient
Jean-Léon Maître, 2024 Richard Lounsbery Award
Jean-Léon Maître
Call for Nominations

Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including biophysics, astronomy, microbiology, medical sciences, and more.

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Award Types

Previous Award Recipients

Michelle Monje
Claire Wyart
Feng Zhang
Marie Manceau
Jay Shendure
Yohanns Bellaïche