NOMIS Awardee Ronald Evans, director of the Salk Institute’s Gene Expression Laboratory and March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology, has been awarded the 2021 Asan Award in Basic Medicine by the Asan Foundation.
The Asan Foundation is a Korean foundation that supports critical medical research as well as social and medical welfare programs. The award, which totals $250,000, recognizes “medical scientists who have achieved remarkable accomplishments in the fields of basic and clinical medicine to promote human health,” according to the Asan Foundation. Evans is the first international recipient of the Asan Award in Basic Medicine.
“We are thrilled that the Asan Foundation is recognizing Ron’s considerable contributions to medical science,” says Salk President Rusty Gage. “His work has provided invaluable insights into numerous physiological processes enabling the development of novel treatments for diabetes, cancer, and other metabolic diseases.”
Evans is known for discovering a “superfamily” of 48 genes called nuclear hormone receptors that respond to steroid hormones along with thyroid hormone and vitamins A and D. While this revealed receptors for 7 known hormones, the discovery uncovered 39 more receptors involved in previously unknown physiologic pathways. This advance launched the modern era of molecular endocrinology, finding receptors for cellular growth, development, inflammation, cancer, diabetes, circadian rhythm, cholesterol metabolism, and even the creation of new brain cells. By establishing unique connections between genes and hormone activity, his work has revolutionized the fields of endocrinology and metabolism and led to the invention of novel classes of drugs that treat disease by targeting genes.
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Ronald M. Evans
Professor, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and holder of the March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
The Science of Health: The Fundamental Mechanisms of Organ Communication
NOMIS RESEARCH PROJECT