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Torsten Wiesel receives Rall Medal for human rights work

Rockefeller University President Emeritus Torsten Wiesel received the Institute of Medicine’s David Rall Medal, it was announced today. The medal is awarded annually to an IOM member who has demonstrated particularly distinguished leadership as chair of a study committee or other activity, showing commitment above and beyond the usual responsibilities of the position. Rockefeller University President Emeritus Joshua Lederberg received the medal in 2003.

The IOM cited Wiesel for his exemplary leadership as chair, from 1994 to 2004, of the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. In this role, he has given considerable time and authority to the cause of persecuted scientists and physicians around the world.

Wiesel, president of Rockefeller University from 1992 to 1998, is the Vincent and Brooke Astor Professor Emeritus. He shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for studies of how visual information collected by the retina is transmitted to and processed in the visual cortex of the brain. He received the Presidential Award from the Society for Neuroscience in 1998. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, where he presently serves as member of the Council. A foreign member of the Royal Society, he is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the New York Academy of Medicine.