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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory president wins Curtin Medal

Bruce Stillman
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Bruce Stillman honored by His Alma Mater as a DNA Sleuth

Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) President and Cancer Center Director, has just returned from a trip to his native Australia with a new medal for excellence in medical research and a new description for his research career—DNA Sleuth. While leading a world-renowned scientific research and education institution with over 1000 employees on Long Island, Stillman continues to do his own award-winning research on DNA replication in cells.

“Professor Stillman’s work brings us a step closer to understanding and developing tools to defeat the diseases of our time,” said Professor Judith Whitworth, Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University (ANU) who presented the Curtin Medal for Excellence in Medical Research. His research at CSHL focuses on DNA replication, a process that ensures accurate inheritance of genetic material from one generation to the next.

Stillman’s work on cell division has formed the building blocks for understanding illness, particularly cancer. His work has also contributed to our knowledge of the mechanisms which control DNA replication of human viruses, as well as the processes that ensure accurate replication of the human genome and its associated protein structures, or nucleosomes.

“At CSHL we are always pushing the frontiers of genetics and molecular biology to understand and alleviate the causes of human suffering in diseases like cancer and autism. I’m proud to be President, but perhaps even prouder that my own research has been recognized by my peers.”

Born in Melbourne, Stillman was awarded his Ph.D. from ANU in 1979. He has spent most of his academic career in the United States, succeeding Nobel laureate James D. Watson as Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1994 and becoming President in 2003. His many honors include some of the highest that can be accorded a scientist, including election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2000. In 2006, Stillman received the American Cancer Society Basic Science Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology.

The Curtin Medal for Excellence in Medical Research is an annual award made by The John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU. Previous winners of the Curtin Medal include Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, 2006 Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer, and Professor Sam Berkovic.

Written by: Communications Department | | 516-367-8455

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About The Curtin Medal
The Curtin Medal is an internationally recognized award given annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to medical science and is an Australian citizen, an Australian resident, or a person whose work has a significant Australian relevance. The award may be made for either a major discovery or for a lifetime achievement in medical research. For more information: Amanda Morgan, ANU Media Office, 02 6125 5575 / 0416 249 245

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,000 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle, high school, and undergraduate students and teachers. For more information, visit