Dr. David Weatherall Wins Lasker Price for Research on Genetic Diseases

A retired Oxford University professor of medicine who is a leading researcher in the study of genetic diseases has been awarded this year’s Lasker Awards for special achievement in medical research.

Seventy-seven-year old David Weatherall will receive his award on October 1 in New York.

Dr. Weatherall’s recognition is based on his research into genetic diseases of the blood and from his works to improve care of thousands of children with thalassemia.

According to a BBC report, thalassemia is a set of genetic blood disorders that affect the body’s ability to create red blood cells. This can lead to anemia of various severities.

Upon learning about his award, Dr. Weatherall paid tribute to his colleagues in Oxford University. Says Dr. Weatherall:

“It’s a tremendous honour to be given this award. It’s both a surprise and a delight to have my work and my career recognised in this way. It’s also a tribute to all my colleagues – researchers, doctors and healthcare professionals – who have contributed much to this work.”

Weatherall retired from Oxford University in 2000. While he was still with the university he established an Institute of Molecular Medicine which was been renamed as the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. The Institute continues to focus on the field of molecular and cell biology that can improve scientists’ understanding and treatment of diseases from cancer to HIV or AIDS.