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Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw

2017 Honoree

Tom Brokaw, a well-respected and trusted figure in U.S. broadcast journalism, is best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004.

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Helen & Charles Dolan

Helen & Charles Dolan

2017 Honorees

Helen and Charles Dolan reside in Oyster Bay, NY. Best known in the business world for his involvement in Cablevision and HBO, Charles philanthropically made a name for him and Helen through their cancer advocacy and founding of The Lustgarten Foundation.

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Alan Alda

2016 Honoree

Alan Alda, 7-time Emmy Award–winner, played Hawkeye Pierce and wrote many of the episodes on the classic TV series M*A*S*H, and appeared in continuing roles on ER, The West Wing, 30 Rock and The Blacklist.

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Roy P. Vagelos

2016 Honoree

Roy Vagelos, M.D., is retired chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc. He received an A.B. in 1950 from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.D. in 1954 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Following a residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he joined the National Institutes of Health from 1956 to 1966. In 1966, he became chairman of the Department of Biological Chemistry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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David Bolstein

2015 Honoree

Dr. Botstein was educated at Harvard (A.B. 1963) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. 1967). He joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, rising through the ranks from Instructor to Professor of Genetics. In 1987 he moved to Genentech, Inc. as Vice President – Science, and in 1990 he joined Stanford University’s School of Medicine, where he was Chairman of the Department of Genetics. In 2003 he became Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrative Genomics and the Anthony Evnin Professor of Genomics at Princeton University. He co-taught the Advanced Bacterial Genetics Course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the 1970s.

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Katie Couric

2015 Honoree

Katie Couric is the Global Anchor of Yahoo News, the number one online news source in the world. Katie is an award-winning journalist and TV personality, cancer advocate, and New York Times best-selling author of The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives. In November 2013, Katie joined Yahoo where she reports on live world events, anchors groundbreaking interviews with major newsmakers and is the host of the digital series World 3.0 and Now I Get It.

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Anne Wojcicki

2015 Honoree

Anne co-founded 23andMe in 2006 after a decade spent in healthcare investing, focused primarily on biotechnology companies. Her hope was to empower consumers with access to their own genetic information and to create a way to generate more personalized information so that commercial and academic researchers could better understand and develop new drugs and diagnostics.

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Andrew Solomon

2014 Honoree

Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture and psychology.

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Matthew Meselson

2014 Honoree

Born May 24, 1930 in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Meselson received the Ph.B. degree from the University of Chicago in 1951 and the Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1957.  He was Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry at CalTech until he joined the Harvard faculty in 1960.

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Marlo Thomas

2014 Honoree

Marlo Thomas is an award-winning actress, author and activist whose body of work continues to impact American entertainment and culture. She has been honored with four Emmy Awards, the Peabody, a Golden Globe, a Grammy, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. In 2010, she launched her website, MarloThomas.com, in partnership with AOL and The Huffington Post.

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Peter J. Neufeld

2013 Honoree

Peter Neufeld co-founded and co-directs the Innocence Project, a national non- profit organization affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Project currently represents hundreds of inmates seeking post-conviction release through DNA testing and pursues institutional reform to identify and address the systemic causes of wrongful convictions.

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Robin R. Roberts

2013 Honoree

Robin Roberts is co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Under her leadership, the broadcast won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program.

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Barry C. Scheck

Barry C. Scheck, is a Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. In his thirty-four years on the Cardozo faculty, he served as the Director of Clinical Education, Co-Director of the Trial Advocacy Programs, and the Jacob Burns Center for the Study of Law and Ethics. He worked for three-years as a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society in New York City before joining the faculty at Cardozo.

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Michael J. Fox

2012 Honoree

Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease at the age of 30 in 1991. A professional actor since the age of 15, Fox became a household name in the early 1980’s for his Emmy and Golden Globe Awards winning role as Alex P. Keaton in the NBC comedy series Family Ties in which he starred as the young Republican son of hippie parents. He starred in and produced the ABC series Spin City for which he also won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. Fox is internationally renowned for his starring roles in films that included the Back to the Future trilogy, Doc Hollywood, Bright Lights, Cig City, Teen Wolf, For Love or Money and The American President.

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Arthur D. Levinson

2012 Honoree

Arthur D. Levinson, Ph. D., is Chairman of the Board of Apple Inc. and Chairman and former CEO of Genentech. After graduating from Princeton with a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1977, Levinson worked as a postdoc at the University of California San Francisco for Mike Bishop and Harold Varmus who later won the Nobel Prize for their research on cancer genes. Early in his career, Levinson was being recruited by numerous institutions including Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, when he opted to join the newly formed Genentech as a research scientist. There, he  quickly assumed leadership roles, and helped grow Genentech into the founding company of the biotechnology industry. Using recombinant DNA technology, Genentech developed a new generation of therapeutics for infectious disease, diabetes, heart disease and cancer to benefit millions of patients worldwide.

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Mary D. Lindsay

2012 Honoree

Mary D. Lindsay has been a friend and an advocate of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for well over fifty years. A member of the Laboratory Association Board and the Board of Trustees for as long as the by-laws allow, she currently serves actively as Honorary Director and Honorary Trustee.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

2011 Honoree

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer and a nineteen-time All Star who won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards.  Recognized as one of the NBA’s ‘Fifty Greatest Players,’ he set NBA all-time records in nine categories. His college accolades include three national championships at UCLA and he is the only player in history to be named ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the Tournament three times.  The NCAA has recognized him as one of the top 100 scholar athletes of the century, ESPN has dubbed him the ‘Greatest Collegiate Player of the 20th Century,’ and Time Magazine has called him ‘History’s Greatest Player.’

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Temple Grandin

2011 Honoree

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a professor, best-selling author, animal behaviorist, and autism self-advocate in top demand as an international speaker. An extraordinary inspiration for autistic children and their parents, she is the subject of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning HBO film, Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes and Julia Ormond, and she was also one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010.

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Harold E. Varmus

2011 Honoree

Harold Varmus, M.D., shared a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989 with J. Michael Bishop, M.D. for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him as the first Nobel laureate to direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There, he recruited top researchers as directors, helped to initiate a doubling of the NIH budget, and established PubMed Central, a free archive of published papers. In 2000, Dr. Varmus became President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where he enlarged its research and patient-care programs, constructed a major new research tower, initiated MSKCC’s first independent doctoral program (in cancer biology) and helped to establish the Starr Cancer Consortium with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Rockefeller University, Weill-Cornell Medical College, and the Broad Institute. In 2010, Dr. Varmus became Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), after serving as co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

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Evelyn H. Lauder

2010 Honoree

Evelyn H. Lauder was Senior Corporate Vice President and Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide for The Estee Lauder Companies. She was an astute businesswoman, a talented photographer, an ardent philanthropist and a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.

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John F. Nash, Jr.

2010 Honoree

Dr. John F. Nash, Jr., winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on game theory, is a public advocate and role model for people with mental illness. He is the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind, which is loosely based on his life as a rising mathematical genius who overcomes years of struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. Dr. Nash has used his influence as a public role model to become an active advocate for mental health issues – lobbying Congress and government officials to protect the community mental health programs that allow people who struggle with mental illness to live outside of hospitals and help them lead more independent and productive lives.

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Mary-Claire King

2010 Honoree

Mary-Claire King, PhD, is American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. She was the first to prove that breast cancer is inherited in some families, as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1. In addition to the inherited breast and ovarian cancer, her research interests include genetics of hearing loss, the genetic bases of schizophrenia, genetics of systemic lupus erythematosus, and human genetic diversity and evolution. She also pioneered the use of DNA sequencing for human rights investigations, developing the approach of sequencing mitochondrial DNA preserved in human remains, then applying this method to the identification of kidnapped children in Argentina and subsequently to cases of human rights violations on six continents.

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Herbert W. Boyer

2009 Honoree for Scientific Research

Herbert W. Boyer, Ph.D., co-discovered Recombinant DNA with Stanley N. Cohen, M.D., thereby launching the biotechnology revolution and creating the basis for his founding of Genentech in 1976 (with venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson). Today, Genentech is among the world’s leading biotech companies, with multiple products on the market for serious or life-threatening medical conditions and more than 100 projects in the pipeline.

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Stanley N. Cohen

2009 Honoree for Scientific Research

In November 1973, a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Drs. Stanley N. Cohen and Herbert W. Boyer revolutionized the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and biotechnology. The paper ushered in what has been called “the new genetics” by describing a methodology for propagating DNA in foreign hosts. With the invention of DNA cloning, Drs. Cohen and Boyer provided a cornerstone for modern biological and medical research and the scientific foundation for the current revolution in the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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Kathryn W. Davis

2009 Honoree for Humanitarianism

Kathryn Wasserman Davis is a 102-year-young example of genetics at its best. A lifelong philanthropist and advocate for research, Mrs. Davis and her family established the Davis Chair in Human Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to focus on uncovering the roots of genetic disorders. She also founded the Kathryn W. Davis RNAi Research Center at Cold Spring Harbor to support the understanding of how this cellular machinery might be programmed to turn off genes that lead to cancer and other disorders.

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Maurice Greenberg

2009 Honoree for Corporate Philanthropy

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg is a leading supporter of biomedical research through the Starr Foundation, AMDeC Foundation, and his own personal generosity. Hank’s $100 million commitment to the Starr Cancer Consortium is strengthening cancer research at five outstanding New York-area institutions: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Weill-Cornell Medical College – Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Broad Institute. This funding has enabled new collaborations among these institutions to advance novel programs on the understanding and treatment of cancer.

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Sherry Lansing

2008 Honoree for Humanitarianism

Sherry Lansing is the founder and chair of the Sherry Lansing Foundation, a philanthropic organization focusing on cancer research, health and education. Ms. Lansing was Chair of the Motion Picture Group of Paramount Pictures from 1992 to 2005, where she oversaw the release of more than 200 films including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump, Braveheart, and highest grossing movie of all time, Titanic.

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Marilyn & James Simons

2008 Honorees for Corporate Leadership

Dr. Marilyn Hawrys Simons and her husband, Dr. James Harris Simons, are the co-founders of the Simons Foundation, a charitable organization that was founded in 1994 to fund basic research and educational programs in mathematics, physical and life sciences. The Foundation’s vision and generosity in also underwriting symposia, visiting lectureships and initiating programs at underserved institutions in the United States and abroad has helped to advance knowledge in a diverse spectrum of fields.

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James D. Watson

2008 Honoree for Scientific Research

Dr. James D. Watson is widely regarded as the father of DNA science. He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1928 and educated at the University of Chicago. In 1953, while at Cambridge University, he and Francis Crick successfully proposed the double-helical structure for DNA, an insight described by Sir Peter Medawar as the greatest achievement of science in the twentieth century.  For this work, Watson and Crick together with Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. While a professor at Harvard, Watson commenced a writing career that generated the seminal text Molecular Biology of the Gene, the best best-selling autobiographical volume The Double Helix, and most recently, Avoid Boring People.

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J. Craig Venter

2008 Honoree for Scientific Research

J. Craig Venter is widely regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his contributions to genomic research. He is Founder, Chairman and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, research organization with more than 400 scientist and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic and environmental genomic research, as well as the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics.

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David Koch

2007 Honoree for Corporate Leadership

David Koch is co-owner and executive vice president of Koch Industries, the largest privately held company in America. Educated as a chemical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Koch has applied his business experience leading an international and diverse set of companies to the philanthropic arena, with a particular focus on improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.

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Michel Wigler

2007 Honoree for Scientific Research

Dr. Michael Wigler has made wide-ranging contributions to biomedical research in genetics, cancer and cognitive disorders. Dr. Wigler attended Princeton University as an undergraduate, majoring in Mathematics, and Columbia University for graduate studies in Microbiology. After receiving his Ph.D., he began his scientific studies at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where he continues his work today as an American Cancer Society Research Professor.

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Richard Axel, M.D.

2007 Honoree for Scientific Research

Dr. Richard Axel has done pioneering work in the fields of molecular biology, genetics and neurobiology. Dr. Axel is a University Professor and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He obtained an A.B. from Columbia College and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School.

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Muhammad Ali

2006 Honoree for Humanitarianism 

He’s still the most recognizable man on earth. And nearly fifty years after he burst onto the scene as a gold-medal winner at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Muhammad Ali remains a magical figure, known and loved throughout the world.

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Suzanne & Bob Wright

2006 Honorees for Corporate Leadership

Suzanne and Bob Wright are co-founders of Autism Speaks, the largest organization devoted to autism in the nation. Inspired by the challenges facing their grandson, who suffers from autism, they launched the foundation in February 2005 to help find a cure by raising funds to facilitate and quicken the pace of research, to raise public awareness of autism and to give hope to all those who suffer from this disorder.

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Phillip Sharp, Ph.D.

2006 Honoree for Scientific Research

Dr. Phillip Sharp’s research has centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977, for which he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. Richard Roberts, who did parallel work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

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