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Double Helix gala raises record $4 million for biomedical research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

2014 Double Helix Medal honorees
At the gala: CSHL President and CEO Bruce Stillman with Double Helix Medal honorees Matthew Meselson, Marlo Thomas and Andrew Solomon.

Andrew Solomon, Matthew Meselson and Marlo Thomas honored at 9th annual Double Helix Medals Dinner

Cold Spring Harbor, NY — More than $4 million was raised the evening of November 12 for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL) research and education programs. The Laboratory’s 9th Double Helix Medals dinner (DHMD) at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City honored Andrew Solomon, Matthew Meselson and Marlo Thomas, champions of research to benefit mankind.

“Tonight’s honorees each have transformed the way doctors, patients and society approach genetic disease. In their varied endeavors they have increased popular understanding of molecular biology, advocated for the mentally ill and for victims of pediatric cancer,” said CSHL President and CEO, Dr. Bruce Stillman. “The achievements of Andrew Solomon, Matthew Meselson and Marlo Thomas are proof positive that scientific knowledge has the power to change the world for the better.”

Through his award-winning writings and lectures, Andrew Solomon has promoted awareness and understanding of mental illness as a genetic disease. Solomon’s newest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon is an activist and philanthropist in LGBT rights, mental health, education, and the arts.

Dr. Matthew Meselson is a legendary geneticist whose landmark experiment in 1958 with Franklin Stahl revealed critical aspects of DNA replication. His early work on restriction enzymes helped pave the way for modern molecular biology and biotechnology. Since 1963, Dr. Meselson has had an interest in biological and chemical weapons defense and arms control and has served as a consultant on this subject to numerous government agencies.

That Girl actress Marlo Thomas, subsequently a producer and social activist, has raised the visibility of research in healthcare as National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has spearheaded national fundraising and awareness campaigns in support of the hospital’s mission to advance cures and prevent pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

This year’s honorees join the ranks of past Double Helix Medal recipients, who include Muhammad Ali, Michael J. Fox, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Evelyn Lauder, and John Nash, all of whom have boldly applied their talents toward improving human health and changing the world for the better.

The 2014 Double Helix Medals Dinner was chaired by Jamie Nicholls and Francis Biondi, Mary and David Boies, Debra and Claudio Del Vecchio, Terry and Bob Lindsay, Rachel and Tom Maniatis, Lucy and Mark Ptashne, Tom Quick, Laura and Harry Slatkin, and Sarah and Howard Solomon.

  • CSHL Double Helix Medal Dinner 2014
    l-r: Jeanne Meselson, CSHL President and CEO Bruce Stillman, Alan Alda and Double Helix Medal Honoree Matthew Meselson.

Double Helix Medals – honoree videos

Photos © Patrick

Written by: Public Affairs | | 516-367-8455

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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 1,100 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 and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit