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Friday, March 6, 2015

Raymond and Beverly Sackler Support New NAS Prize for Convergence Research

WASHINGTON — The National Academy of Sciences announced today the creation of the new Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research. A generous gift from Raymond and Beverly Sackler and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation will endow the prize, to be presented annually beginning this year with an inaugural $400,000 award.

"The prize will recognize significant advances in convergence research -- the integration of two or more of the following disciplines: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biomedicine, biology, astronomy, earth sciences, engineering, and computational science -- for achievements possible only through such integration. This year's prize will be awarded for convergence research that benefits human health. Two-thirds of the prize money will be awarded to the selected researcher(s), and the remaining third will go to support the researcher's work.

"Convergence research is responsible for major breakthroughs that are making real impacts on people's lives such as 3-D printing of human tissue, new biofuels, and more precise drug delivery systems," said Raymond Sackler. "Beverly and I hope that the recognition and prestige bestowed through this prize encourages more researchers to work across disciplines and make exciting new discoveries."

"Convergence science is not only necessary but critical to tackling some of the world's most pressing challenges," said National Academy of Sciences President Ralph J. Cicerone. "This generous gift allows the National Academy of Sciences to highlight and support the revolutionary advances in science that result from interdisciplinary ideas and approaches."

Dr. Raymond Sackler is a founder and board member of Purdue Pharma L.P., Stamford, Conn., and the Mundipharma Companies of Europe, Asia and Africa. Individually and through their foundations, Dr. Sackler and his wife Beverly have sponsored scientific and biomedical research at a number of major U.S. academic centers, including: Boston University; CalTech (in collaboration with University of California, Los Angeles); Columbia University; Dana Farber Research Institute; Duke University; Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; New York University; Rockefeller University; Tufts University; University of California, Berkeley (in collaboration with University of California, San Francisco); University of Connecticut; University of Toledo College of Medicine; University of Washington, Seattle; Weill Cornell Medical School; Yale University; and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. International academic centers include Cambridge University (UK), Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (France), Tel Aviv University (Israel); University of Leiden (Netherlands); and the University of Toronto (Canada).

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and -- with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council -- provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the nation.

URL: http://www.national-academies.org/newsroom

Contact Person: Molly Galvin, Senior Media Relations Officer (news@nas.edu)

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