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Northwestern accepting nominations for $200,000 Nemmers Prize in Medical Science

Physician-scientist nominations invited for 2020 prize

Northwestern University is accepting nominations for its $200,000 Mechthild Esser Nemmers Prize in Medical Science. The biennial prize will be awarded in fall 2020.

Candidacy for the 2020 Nemmers Prize is open to physician-scientists whose body of research exhibits outstanding achievement in their disciplines as demonstrated by works of lasting significance. Individuals of all nationalities and institutional affiliations are eligible, except current or recent members of the Northwestern faculty, past recipients of the Mechthild Esser Nemmers Prize and recipients of the Nobel Prize.

The 2020 recipient of the Nemmers Prize will deliver a public lecture and participate in other scholarly activities at Northwestern. 

In 2016, the inaugural prize was awarded to Dr. Huda Zoghbi, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor at Baylor College of Medicine known for her groundbreaking research on Rett syndrome and other neurological disorders. In 2018, the prize was awarded to Dr. Stuart Orkin, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Boston Children's Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School, known for his landmark discoveries into blood cell development and the genetic basis of blood disorders.

“Finding answers to devastating diseases is the most important thing we in medicine will do for future generations,” said Dr. Eric Neilson, vice president for medical affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “I look forward to honoring another outstanding investigator whose discoveries can lead to answers, who has contributed to improving human health globally and who has transformed the way we think about the mechanisms of disease.”

"Northwestern University is proud to offer the Mechthild Esser Nemmers Prize in Medical Science as a way to honor achievements that have made a real difference in advancing the field of medical science,” said Northwestern Provost Jonathan Holloway. “We look forward to seeing the nominations for these outstanding scientists, who are under consideration for spurring the discovery of new knowledge that may help battle disease, cure illness or improve the quality of life for people who are suffering.”

This award is made possible by a generous gift to Northwestern by the late Erwin Esser Nemmers and the late Frederic Esser Nemmers. The Nemmers Prize in Medical Science is the fourth Nemmers prize established by Northwestern and joins the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics, the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics, the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music and the new Nemmers Prize in Earth Sciences, now the fifth Nemmers prize at Northwestern.

Nominations for the prize will be accepted until November 1, 2019. Nominating letters of no more than one page should describe the nominee’s professional experience, accomplishments, qualifications for the award and a curriculum vitae of the nominee. Nominations from experts in the field and institutional nominations are welcome; direct applications will not be accepted.

Nominations can be submitted at