2021 Banners Lounsbery

2021 Banners Lounsbery

Feng Zhang, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, MIT, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute received the 2021 Richard Lounsbery Award

Zhang pioneered CRISPR-mediated genome editing. He continues to lead the field through the discovery of novel CRISPR systems and their development as molecular tools with the potential to diagnose and treat disease, such as disorders affecting the nervous system.

Zhang’s contributions in genome engineering, as well as his earlier work developing optogenetics, are enabling a deeper understanding of behavioral neural circuits and advances in gene therapy for treating disease. 

In addition, Zhang has championed the open sharing of the technologies he has developed through extensive resource sharing. The tools from his lab are being used by thousands of scientists around the world to accelerate research in nearly every field of the life sciences.

Even as biomedical researchers around the world adopt Zhang’s discoveries and his tools enter the clinic to treat genetic diseases, he continues to innovate and develop new technologies to advance science.

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


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