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A Tribute to Dr. Paul A. Marks, featuring eight Nobel Laureates.

Updated on February 7, 2011

Back on September 8, 2006, I was assigned to videotape a very special all day tribute to the internationally renowned cell biologist, physician-scientist and academic leader, Dr. Paul Marks. Titled, The Paul A. Marks Scientific Symposium, it took place in the Alumni Auditorium at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University Medical Center. It is located in northern Manhattan.

More about Dr. Paul Marks: Currently President Emeritus and Member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (in NYC), he has made major contributions toward defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms that cause the differentiation of blood cells, transforming normal cells into cancer cells. Marks has also served on Presidential Commissions, Councils of the Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the NIH and elsewhere, and has written or co-authored more than 300 scientific articles, nine book chapters, and 60 articles on medical subjects of general interest.

What made the symposium exceptional was that among those who presented some of their scientific research (which included highlights of and praise for the work of Dr. Marks or showed how it influenced their own research) were seven Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine while yet another was in the audience. Yes, eight Nobel Laureates were on hand. Also in attendance was Dr. Andrew Marks, Paul’s son, who is also a leading researcher (at Columbia University).

And so, who were those eight Nobel laureates... whose autographs I just happen to acquire on an official program after their remarks or presentations?

Listed in the chronological order they received their distinguished awards, they are:

Bengt Samuelsson, MD, from Sweden is a Professor of Medical and Physiological Chemistry at Karolinska Institute and winner of the Nobel Prize in 1982 for his discoveries concerning prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes. And from 1993-2005 Samuelsson was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nobel Foundation.

Michael S. Brown, MD, is a professor and The W. A. (Monty) Moncrief Distinguished Chair in Cholesterol and Arteriosclerosis Research at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He won the Nobel Prize with Joseph L. Goldstein (next) in 1985 for describing the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Their research helped to lay the groundwork for drugs called statins that lower blood cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.

Joseph L. Goldstein, MD. In 1977, he was made Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas and Paul J. Thomas Professor of Medicine and Genetics, a position that he currently holds. He won the Nobel Prize with Michael S. Brown in 1985 for describing the regulation of cholesterol metabolism.

Harold, Varmus, MD, who was in the audience (but had to leave early) won the 1989 Nobel Prize with J. Michael Bishop for discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes. Since January 2000 he has served as President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and on July 12, 2010 Varmus took the oath of office to become the fourteenth director of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI), one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is wrote the book, The Art and Politics of Science.

Paul Greengard, PhD. is the Vincent Astor Professor of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at the Rockefeller University and Director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research. In 2000, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system.

Eric Kandell, MD, is a professor at Columbia University, Fred Kavli Professor and Director, Kalvi Institute for Brain Sciences and Senior Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research has been concerned with the molecular mechanisms of memory storage in Aplysia and mice. Dr. Kandel wrote the book, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, and I forget which year he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Paul Nurse, PhD, FRS, is the President of Rockefeller University and a biologist who’s research focuses on the molecular machinery that drives cell division and controls cell shapes. He has also won numerous other awards including the Albert Lasker Award. He won the Nobel Prize in 2001.

Richard Axel, MD, is University Professor and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University. He won the Nobel Prize in 2004 for his work with on the molecular logic of olfactory perception. In others words, why we can discriminate between so many odors.

And on a second program I obtained the autograph of the honoree, Dr. Paul A. Marks.

Enjoy my Hub and tell any medical doctors, scientists and researchers you know about it.

Eight Nobel Laureates came together to honoe Dr. Paul A. Marks. Wow!
Eight Nobel Laureates came together to honoe Dr. Paul A. Marks. Wow!
This shows the autograph of Dr. Marks.
This shows the autograph of Dr. Marks.
A week or so later I spotted this photo about the symposium in the medical center publication called, In Vivo.
A week or so later I spotted this photo about the symposium in the medical center publication called, In Vivo.
A handout I acquired.
A handout I acquired.

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