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2024 Ceremony

Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

PEARL MEISTER GREENGARD PRIZE

An International Award Recognizing Outstanding Women in Biomedical Research
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2024
5:45 – 6:30 PM Reception
6:30 – 7:30 PM Ceremony
Caspary Auditorium
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue at East 66th Street
New York, NY 10065

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2024 PRIZE RECIPIENT

Svetlana Mojsov, Ph.D.

Svetlana Mojsov, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor
The Rockefeller University

Svetlana Mojsov’s work touches millions of lives every day. An expert in the chemical synthesis of peptides and small proteins, she made seminal discoveries about glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) during the 1980s, including her demonstration of the hormone’s effectiveness in stimulating insulin secretion and regulating glucose metabolism in mammals. Drugs based on GLP-1, originally prescribed for adult-onset diabetes, have recently revolutionized the treatment of obesity, facilitating weight loss and reducing cardiovascular risk. Blockbuster drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy trace their origin to Dr. Mojsov’s scientific insight, tenacity, and skill in isolating and characterizing a chemical that others had found elusive. Although her name was incorrectly omitted from the original patent and her contributions overlooked for many years, Dr. Mojsov is finally receiving well-deserved recognition for discoveries that have transformed medicine.

Svetlana Mojsov graduated from Belgrade University, in what was then Yugoslavia, before moving to the United States. She earned her Ph.D. at Rockefeller in 1978, working in the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Bruce Merrifield. After refining her methods as a postdoc, she moved to Boston in 1983, where she was appointed Director of the HHMI Peptide Synthesis Facility, part of the endocrine unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. She returned to Rockefeller in 1990, initially as Assistant Professor and, since 2002, as Research Associate Professor. She has mentored a generation of young scientists and continues to work on GLP-1. She received the 2023 VinFuture Prize in recognition of her work on GLP-1.

GUEST PRESENTER

Diane Ackerman, Ph.D.

Diane Ackerman, Ph.D.

Essayist, Poet, and Naturalist

Across some two dozen works of poetry and nonfiction, Diane Ackerman has explored the human relationship with animals, nature, and each other. Holding both an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, her work seamlessly blends scientific insights with the humanity of personal experience. She is the author of such works as A Natural History of the Senses, the first of her several New York Times bestsellers; The Zookeeper’s Wife, adapted as a feature film in 2017; and, most recently, The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us. Dr. Ackerman is the recipient of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Communicating Science, a P.E.N. Henry David Thoreau Award, and an Orion Book Award, while her memoir One Hundred Names for Love was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Circle Critics Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, awarded annually by Rockefeller University, was established by the late Dr. Paul Greengard, who served as the university’s Vincent Astor Professor, and his wife, the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard. Dr. Greengard donated his monetary share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine to Rockefeller and, in partnership with generous supporters of the university, created this major international prize. The prize is named in memory of Dr. Greengard’s mother, who died giving birth to him. An exhibit honoring the recipients and presenters of the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize was installed at Rockefeller University in 2021.

Pearl Meister Greengard Prize



Contact

Amanda Martinez
Director, Women & Science Initiative
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 164
New York, NY 10065


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