The Winners of the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine

The 2007 Louis-Jeantet Prize-Winners

THE WINNERS OF THE 2007 LOUIS-JEANTET PRIZE FOR MEDICINE are Venki RAMAKRISHNAN(Cambridge UK) and Stephen C. WEST (South Mimms near London).

VENKI RAMAKRISHNAN received the 2007 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for his research on the ribosome. He has obtained three-dimensional images of the atomic structure of this particle, which is of interest for several reasons. An essential component of the "cellular machinery", the ribosome also plays an important role at the therapeutic level, as it is one of the main targets of antibiotics. The studies carried out by Venki RAMAKRISHNAN are therefore crucial at a time when bacterial resistance to these drugs has become a major public health concern. Venki RAMAKRISHNAN has planned to use the Prize to pursue his work, which should lead to an improved specificity of certain classes of antibiotics and perhaps to the development of new ones.

STEPHEN C. WEST received the 2007 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for his pioneering work on DNA repair mechanisms. He has shown how these processes, when defective, influence the development of certain human diseases, in particular, hereditary breast cancers and certain neurological diseases. Stephen C. WEST has identified and characterised the molecules involved in these processes and in the genesis of these diseases. Stephen C. WEST has planned to use the Prize to continue his study of these molecules, which represent new therapeutic targets in the areas of oncology and neurodegenerative diseases.

THE AWARD CEREMONY was held on Friday April 27, 2007, in Geneva (Switzerland).