Senator John Heinz


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  • Freeman Hrabowski reflects on his three decades serving as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. go >>
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  • Dr. Sarah Szanton is name Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing go >>
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha writes OpEd for the Washington Post on the EPA's proposed limiting of types of scientific studies used for new regulations go >>
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  • Hugh Herr is interviewed by about his work and current research on bionic limbs go >>
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  • Rita Dove receives the 2019 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets go >>
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  • Robert Langer helps to develop a longterm oral delivery pill for malaria drug go >>
  • Kevin Jerome Everson is interviewed by online arts magazine Hyperallergic go >>
  • Sangeeta Bhatia elected to National Academy of Medicine, one of only 25 inidividuals elected to all three academies go >>
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  • NPR's Weekend Edition profiles Mark di Suvero go >>
  • Sanjeev Arora receives Governor of New Mexico's Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement go >>
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  • Mona Hanna-Attisha writes Op-Ed for The New York Times go >>
  • Paul Farmer talks about health equity with Bay Area NPR go >>
  • Matt Mullenweg is interviewed by The Verge about Automattic's purchase of Tumblr go >>
  • Joseph DeSimone is profiled by Alejandro Cremades for Forbes go >>
  • Dave Eggers write Op-Ed piece about teh second International Congress of Youth Voices, held in Puerto Rico go >>
  • Hugh Herr is featured in 60 Minutes overview of MIT's Media Lab go >>
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  • Rita Dove receives the Langston Hughes Medal from The City College of New York go >>
  • Nadine Burke Harris is profiled by NPR as California's first Surgeon General go >>
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha is interviewed about the lead-in-water crisis in Newark go >>
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  • Greg Asner's work with his Global Airborne Observatory is profiled by The New York Times go >>
  • Sangeeta Bhatia is the 2019 recipient of the Science History Institute's Othmer Gold Medal go >>
  • Robert Langer is the recipient of the 2019 Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences go >>
  • The American Institute of Chemical Engineers endows new fellowship in Robert Langer's name go >>
  • Natasha Trethewey is inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters go >>
  • U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, co-recipient of the 10th Chairman's medal, dies at 87 go >>
  • The New York Times honors the 50th anniversary of Arthur Mitchell’s pioneering Dance Theater of Harlem through the recollections of those who worked with him go >>
  • Gretchen Daily heads case study demonstrating the benefits of managing land for both economic and environmental benefits go >>
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  • The New York Times profiles Carol Gilligan and her new book go >>
  • Dave Eggers' latest book, The Parade, is reviewed by the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times go >>
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  • Nadine Burke Harris to be appointed as California's first Surgeon General go >>
  • Natasha Trethewey is named as a chancellor for The Academy of American Poets go >>
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  • Natasha Trethewey is profiled in Buzzfeed News go >>
  • Joseph DeSimone receives the 2018 National Academy of Sciences prize in convergent science go >>
  • John Harbison and his multi-decade career is profiled by Strings magazine go >>
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  • Vanity Fair interviews Natasha Trethewey about her work and new retrospective poetry collection, "Monument" go >>
  • The New York Times reviews 'Relations,' with Ralph Lemon, Bebe Miller and Ishmael Houston-Jones go >>
  • Natasha Trethewey is interviewed by NPR's Weekend Edition go >>
  • John Luther Adams writes for The Guardian on why he chose music over activism go >>
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  • Gregory Asner to establish Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science at Arizona State University go >>
  • Jane Lubchenco awarded the 2018 Fellow Medal from California Academy of Sciences go >>
  • George Hatsopoulos, 3rd Heinz Awards recipient in Technology, the Economy and Employment, dies at 91 go >>
  • Arthur Mitchell, 7th Heinz Awards recipient for Arts and Humantities, dies at 84 go >>
  • John Luther Adams' work, In the Name of the Earth, to premiere in Central Park this Saturday go >>
  • Dave Eggers writes an article for The Guardian about The International Congress of Youth Voices go >>
  • TIME interviews Mona Hanna-Attisha on the occasion of her new book go >>
  • The Carnegie Corporation honors Mona Hanna-Attisha as one of 38 Distinguished Immigrants for 2018 go >>
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  • Mona Hanna-Attisha adapts a chapter from her new book for The New York Times' Op-Ed page go >>
  • Greg Asner helps to create high-resolution maps of Caribbean coral reefs go >>
  • Dee Boersma and her work are featured in The Pew Charitable Trusts' "After the Fact" podcast go >>
  • James Nachtwey is profiled by The Times in London as his new show, Memoria, is on in Paris go >>
  • Rita Dove talks to the Columbia Journalism Review on pairing poetry with journalism go >>
  • Abraham Verghese writes a piece for The New York Times Magazine on one major downside of electronic health records go >>
  • Sierra magazine profiles the ongoing challenges Beverly Wright and others face in combating environmental racism in New Orleans go >>
  • The LA Times explores John Luther Adams' career and his most recent work go >>
  • Mason Bates to premiere his new work, "Garden of Eden," with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra go >>
  • Jane Lubchenco receives 2018 Vannevar Bush Award go >>

The Heinz Awards


William Rutter

Dr. William Rutter receives the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment for his role in helping to create the biotechnology industry and for his interest in shaping that industry to serve society.

A first-rate scientist and academic leader, Dr. Rutter was among the first to recognize the potential of biomedical sciences to produce marketable goods and services. The success of the company he created, Chiron Corporation, helped to spur the rapid emergence of the "biotech" industry, as did his earlier crafting of the University of California at San Francisco's program in biological and genetic research. Today, Chiron remains one of the world's few biopharmaceutical companies making important contributions to health while succeeding commercially. As a researcher, educator, and corporate leader, Dr. Rutter has nurtured an important new science and demonstrated both its profitability and its medical utility.

In 1968, Dr. Rutter took the reins of an undistinguished biochemistry program at the University of California at San Francisco and set about transforming it. Spurred by his successful recruitment of leading molecular biologists, UCSF's lab made important early contributions to biotechnology, including development of recombinant cloning techniques and the first cloning of insulin and growth hormone genes. Under Dr. Rutter's leadership, UCSF became recognized as one of the most vigorous and innovative places carrying out fundamental biological and genetic research.

But Dr. Rutter's passion for science extended beyond discovery. He believed that the science of biotechnology he was then helping to pioneer, had enormous potential applications to the field of medicine. He also sensed, however, that the existing "technology transfer" structure between universities and the pharmaceutical industry was ill equipped to accommodate a boom in the biological sciences. Therefore, to explore the business applications of his research, he joined in 1981 with two University of California colleagues to found Chiron Corporation.

Known for its programs in infectious disease, Chiron approached its research in a novel way by seeking to coordinate the development of vaccines, diagnostics, and innovative treatment strategies as part of a coherent effort to combat disease. Among the fruits of this approach were the first genetically engineered vaccine (for hepatitis B), the discovery of hepatitis C, and diagnostic tests used worldwide to ensure that blood or blood products are not contaminated with hepatitis B and C or HIV. The company also produces biological products to treat multiple sclerosis and the illness known as Lou Gehrig's disease, as well as products designed to boost the immunological defense mechanisms of cancer patients. The company has also become active in the study of gene therapy, an area Dr. Rutter sees as an especially promising avenue for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.

Dr. Rutter is understandably proud of his formation of a successful, science-driven company. But it is significant that he is even more proud of the contribution his company has made to advancing the cause of human health, and the achievements of his colleagues and students in illuminating fundamental biological mechanisms and solutions to human disease. He is devoted to the principle that scientific innovation is the key to solving many of our most challenging and urgent problems.

Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.


November 2007 - The University of California, San Francisco named its new building the William J. Rutter Center, in honor of the former university leader who helped bridge the gap between academia and industry and has been a pivotal influence on the biotech world since he became head of the university's biochemistry department in 1969.

March 2005 - Dr. Rutter announces that he will leave his position on the board of directors at Sangamo BioSciences. After five years on the board, Rutter is leaving "to devote more time to several early stage technology companies of which he is a founder and principal supporter." - PR Newswire

December 2002 - Dr. Rutter receives the 2003 Biotechnology Heritage Award from the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He is honored with the award for his contributions to vaccination and genome research as well as his tireless work in the field of biotechnology in general.

May 2001 - Dr. Rutter's company, the Chiron Corporation, celebrates its 20th anniversary. The company has led the way in biotechnology, and boasts a resume that includes developing "the first genetically engineered vaccine" and deciphering "the genetic sequence of the HIV and Hepatitis C viruses." - The Contra Costa Times

September 2000 - Dr. Rutter's Chiron Corporation is honored with the 2000 Lasker Award for clinical medical research. The award goes to the corporation for its breakthrough research on the Hepatitis C virus and for its development of new blood screening technologies.

January 2000 - Dr. Rutter receives the Bower Award for business leadership from the Franklin Institute. The medal is given to Rutter "for his role as the father of bio-technology." - The Franklin Institute

May 1996 - Dr. Rutter receives the prestigious University of California, San Francisco Medal for his personal contributions in the health sciences. He is honored for leading the institution into early discoveries in the field of biotechnology, "including the development of recombinant cloning techniques and the first cloning of insulin and growth hormone genes" which Rutter supervised when he chaired the biochemistry department at the university. - Business Wire

William Rutter