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Ross Prize Ceremony and Webinar on the Genetics of Neurological Disorders

On October 30, Dr. Adrian R. Krainer, of Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory will be honored with the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine, followed by a webinar on the genetics of Neurological Disorders. Dr. Krainer will discuss his work in introducing anti-sense therapy to clinical practice.

Published October 26, 2020

New York, October 26, 2020 —The Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine will be awarded to Adrian R. Krainer, PhD, St. Giles Foundation Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in a virtual ceremony and webinar hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, and the journal Molecular Medicine on October 30. The webinar will be held 1 PM to 4:50 PM EDT.

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research has selected Dr. Krainer as the eighth recipient of the Ross Prize, which is awarded annually through the Feinstein Institutes’ peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Molecular Medicine.

The Ross Prize recognizes Dr. Krainer for his pioneering work in introducing anti-sense therapy in clinical use, and for its successful application to spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The Ross Prize includes a $50,000 award.

After a brief award presentation at the start of the October 30 webinar, Dr. Krainer will discuss his work. This will be followed by a session on topics in the genetics of neurological disorders. Speakers for this session will include: Edward M. Kaye, MD, Stoke Therapeutics; Michelle L. Hastings, PhD, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; and Timothy Yu, MD, PhD, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.  The webinar will be held 1 PM – 4:50 PM EDT.

The Ross Prize is made possible by the generosity of Feinstein Institutes board members Robin and Jack Ross. The Ross Prize recognizes biomedical scientists whose discoveries have transformed the way medicine is practiced. The awardees are midcareer researchers who have made a significant impact in the understanding of human disease pathogenesis and/or treatment. Moreover, it is anticipated that they will continue to make profound advances in the general field of molecular medicine.

“The Ross Prize is a worthy tribute to the significance and impact of the fundamental and applied research conducted by my lab and our collaborators, which culminated in a disease-modifying therapy for spinal muscular atrophy,” Dr. Krainer said. “I greatly admire the seven previous Prize recipients, so I am humbled to join this distinguished group of scientists and clinicians.”

“Dr Krainer is the eighth recipient of the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine because his discoveries are revolutionizing treatment of a devastating, crippling pediatric illness,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes and editor emeritus of Molecular Medicine. “His work enables children with spinal muscular atrophy to crawl, walk, and live a full life.”

Dr. Krainer explained his work in more detail:

"My lab’s research has a long-standing focus on understanding RNA splicing, a fundamental cellular process. In addition, we are interested in how alterations in this key step in gene expression cause or contribute to disease. This basic research eventually led us to the development of mechanism-based therapies. Our main goals are to continue gaining novel insights into RNA-splicing mechanisms and regulation, and to translate these findings into new drugs or clinically useful methods. These are important goals, because they differ from the traditional path for drug development, and so they have the potential to yield effective solutions to intractable medical problems."

In addition to studying the mechanisms of RNA splicing, Dr. Krainer uses multidisciplinary approaches to examine the ways in which they go awry in disease, and the means by which faulty splicing can be corrected.  He co-developed the first FDA-approved therapy for the genetic disorder SMA — an illness that has been the leading genetic cause of infant death — based on the biological process of RNA splicing.  This life-saving drug is also the first approved splicing-corrective therapy.

To learn more about the Ross Prize celebration and symposium, and to register for the event, please visit

Past recipients of the Ross Prize are: Daniel Kastner, MD, PhD, scientific director of the  National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI);  Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD, professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine; Jeffrey V. Ravetch, MD, PhD, the Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Professor and head of the Leonard Wagner Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Immunology at The Rockefeller University; Charles N. Serhan, PhD, DSc, director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Simon Gelman Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and professor at Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital; John J. O’Shea, MD, scientific director at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS); and Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology in the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at New York University School of Medicine.


Roger Torda

NYAS Communications