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Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 2007
The studies done by Lawrence and Morata are crucial in order to understand clearly some of the details involved in the formation of complex organisms.
Peter Lawrence (Great Britain, 1941). He gained his doctorate degree from Cambridge University in 1965 and is a permanent member of the scientific staff at its Laboratory of Molecular Biology since 1969. From 1984 to 1986 he was Joint Head of Division of Cell Biology at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He became a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in 1976 and in 1983 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is regarded as one of the foremost authorities in the field of developmental biology. His work on the genetic development of the Drosophila melanogaster fly has been key since it shares 60% of its genes with every animal species, including humans. The analysis of these shared genes is the focal point of studies on human illnesses with a strong genetic component. He has published several books, including The making of a Fly (1992), which explains the general principles of the Drosophila and is considered to be essential in many biogenetics laboratories. Throughout his career he has received several awards, including the Zoological Society of London's Medal, the Darwin Medal from Royal Society (UK, 1994), the Moet et Chandon "Vinci d'Excellence" Prize (France, 1996) and the Waddington Medal from the British Society of Developmental Biology (2000). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2000.
Ginés Morata (Rioja, Almería, España, 1945) earned a degree in biological sciences from Madrid´s Complutense University in 1968 and in 1973 he gained his doctorate degree cum laude. He is a permanent member of the scientific staff of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) since 1975. He has been the deputy director of CSIC´s Institute of Molecular Biology (1986-1989), the deputy director of the CSIC-Autonomous University of Madrid Centre of Molecular Biology (1989-1990) and the director of the Centre of Molecular Biology (1990-1992). He is currently a research professor at the CSIC-UAM Centre of Molecular Biology and is the president of Doñana National Park´s Management Council. He is an expert in developmental genetics, more specifically, in the study of the biological architecture of the Drosophila melanogaster fly. The genetic study of this fly has allowed us to know the biology of human development and will unveil information on organ regeneration at a cellular level. Theses developments could be beneficial in bringing about new cancer treatments and possibly, control the human aging process. He has received numerous awards, including the Spanish Academy of Exact Sciences, Physics and Natural Sciences´ Award (1992), the King James I Research Award (1996), the Santiago Ramón y Cajal National Research Prize (2002), a Gold Medal conferred by Andalucía (2003) and the Prize Mexico of Research and Technology (2004). He holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Alcalá (2007) and Almería (2008),
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