2006 Vilcek Prize Recipients
The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science
Joan Massagué, Ph.D.
Dr. Joan Massagué is Chairman of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Professor at the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in New York. He is internationally recognized for his work on the control of cell growth and fate by the TGF-(beta) family of growth factors.
Dr. Massagué and his colleagues elucidated fundamental machinery that conveys growth inhibitory signals from the cell membrane to the nucleus. Combining biochemistry and genetics, Dr. Massagué identified the TGF-(beta) receptors and their mechanism of activation. Building on this, he found that a family of TGF-(beta) receptor kinase substrates, Smad proteins, are transcriptional activators, thereby establishing the central concept of how this pathway operates. The end result of this process, Massagué found, is the inhibition of cyclin-dependent protein kinases through novel inhibitors that he co-discovered. This contiguous set of protein-to-protein and protein-to-DNA interactions provided a direct explanation of how TGF-(beta) negatively controls the cell cycle. TGF-(beta) signaling mechanisms are now known to be crucial in embryonic development, and their disruption contributes to tumor formation and metastasis. The latter are current topics of investigation by Dr. Massagué and his group. Dr. Massagué has published over two-hundred research articles on these subjects.
Born in 1953, Dr. Massagué received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry in 1978 from the University of Barcelona. He was a Research Fellow at Brown University until 1982 when he joined the Faculty of Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He assumed his current positions in 1989. He served in the advisory boards of the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Fox Chase Cancer Center, the Searle Foundation and the General Motors Prize Foundation, and in the editorial boards of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, The Journal of Cell Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Massagué is an elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Associate of the European Molecular Biology Organization.
The Vilcek Prize in The Arts
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
1935 Christo: American, Bulgarian born Christo Javacheff, June 13, Gabrovo, of an industrialist family; Jeanne-Claude: American, French born Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, June 13, Casablanca, of a French military family, educated in France and Switzerland.
1952 Jeanne-Claude. Baccalaureat in Latin and Philosophy, University of Tunis.
1953–56 Christo: Studies at Fine Arts Academy, Sofia. 1956, arrival in Prague.
1957 Christo studies one semester at the Vienna Fine Arts Academy.
1958 Christo arrives in Paris where he meets Jeanne-Claude. Packages and "Wrapped Objects".
1960 Birth of their son, Cyril, May 11. poet and writer.
1961 "Project for the Wrapping of a Public Building"; "Stacked Oil Barrels" and "Dockside Packages" at Cologne Harbor, their first collaboration.
1962 "Iron Curtain-Wall of Oil Barrels, Rue Visconti, Paris, 1961–62"; "Stacked Oil Barrels", Gentilly, near Paris. "Wrapping a Woman", London.
1964 Establishment of permanent residence in New York City. "Store Fronts" and "Show Windows".
1966 "Air Package" and "'Wrapped Tree", Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Holland; "42,390 Cubicfeet Package" at the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis School of Art.
1968 "Wrapped Fountain" and "Wrapped Medieval Tower", Spoleto; Wrapping of a public building "Wrapped Kunsthalle Berne, 1967–68"; "5,600 Cubicmeter Package, Documenta 4, Kassel" an Air Package 280 feet high, foundations arranged in a 900 feet diameter circle; "Corridor Store Front", total area: 1,500 sq.ft; "1,240 Oil Barrels Mastaba", and "Two Tons of Stacked Hay", I.C.A., Philadelphia.
1969 "Wrapped Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago", 10,000 square feet of tarpaulin; "Wrapped Floor and Stairway", 2,800 square feet drop cloths, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; "Wrapped Coast, Little Bay, One Million Square Feet, Sydney, Australia", 90,000 square meters (One million square feet) Erosion Control fabric and 36 miles of ropes; Project for stacked Oil Barrels "Houston Mastaba, Texas", 1,249,000 barrels; Project for "Closed Highway".
1970 Wrapped Monuments, Milano: "Monument to Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza del Duomo; Monument to Leonardo da Vinci, Piazza della Scala".
1971 "Wrapped Floors, Covered Windows and Wrapped Walk Ways", Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany.
1972 "Valley Curtain, Grand Hogback, Rifle, Colorado, 1970–72", width: 1,250–1,368 feet, height: 185–365 feet, 142,000 square feet of nylon polyamide, 110,000 lbs. of steel cables, 800 tons of concrete.
1974 "The Wall, Wrapped Roman Wall, Via V. Veneto and Villa Borghese, Rome"; "Ocean Front, Newport, Rhode Island" 150,000 square feet of floating polypropylene fabric over the ocean.
1976 "Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972–76", 18 feet high, 24-1/2 miles long, 240,000 square yards of woven nylon fabric, 90 miles of steel cables, 2,050 steel poles (each: 3-1/2 inch diameter, 21 feet long).
1977 "The Mastaba of Abu Dhabi, Project for the United Arab Emirates" in progress.
1978 "Wrapped Walk Ways, Loose Park, Kansas City, Missouri, 1977–78"; 15,000 square yards of woven nylon fabric over 2.8 miles of walkways.
1983 "Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980–83"; 6.5 million square feet pink woven polypropylene floating fabric.
1984 "Wrapped Floors and Stairways and Covered Windows", Architecture Museum, Basel, Switzerland.
1985 "The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975–85", 454,178 sq. ft. of woven polyamide fabric, 42,900 feet of rope.
1991 "The Umbrellas, Japan-U.S.A., 1984–91", 1,340 blue umbrellas in Ibaraki, Japan; 1,760 yellow umbrellas in California, USA. Each: height: 19 ft. 8 in., diameter: 28 ft. 6 in.
1992 "Over The River, Project for The Arkansas River, Colorado" in progress.
1995 "Wrapped Floors and Stairways and Covered Windows" Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany; "Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971–95", 100,000 sq.meters (1,076,000 sq.ft.) of polypropylene fabric, 15,600 meters (51,181 feet) of rope and 200 metric tons of steel.
1998 "Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen-Basel, Switzerland 1997–98"; 178 trees, 53,283 square meters (592,034 square feet) of woven polyester fabric, 23 km. (14.3 miles) of rope.
1999 "The Wall, 13,000 Oil Barrels, Gasometer, Oberhausen, Germany", an indoor installation.
2005 "The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979–2005", 7,503 vinyl gates, with free-flowing nylon fabric panels, anchored to 15,006 steel bases on 37 kilometers (twenty-three miles) of walkways.
Jeanne-Claude passed away in New York City in 2009, at the age of 74.
A Message from Jan and Marica Vilcek
Our founders arrived as penniless refugees over fifty years ago, but with the kindness and opportunity they received in the United States, they went on to accomplish great things in biomedical science and art history. Read their statement on the recent executive order imposing a travel ban.
The Vilcek Prize
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