Bazer and Roberts independently identified an array of proteins and mechanisms that regulate embryo development, fetal growth and immune competence. The uterine protein, uteroferrin, identified by Bazer first in animals ultimately may be useful in treating diseases such as leukemia and osteoporosis in humans, according to the Wolf Prize jury.
The award will be formally presented by Israeli President Moshe Katsav in Jerusalem May 11. The Wolf Prize is given through a foundation established by the late Dr. Ricardo Wolf, a German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist. Wolf was Fidel Castro's ambassador to Israel where he died in 1981. The Wolf Prize is given annually in rotation among five areas: agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine and physics.
"Both scientists exemplify how devotion to basic research in agriculture can lead to practical outcomes that impact both animal production and human health and well-being," the jury noted.
Bazer and Roberts were named for their discoveries of "interferontau and other pregnancy- associated proteins which clarified the biological mystery of signaling between embryo and mother to establish and maintain pregnancy." The two collaborated on the research for 16 years while at the University of Florida.
"While it has long been known that chemical communication between embryo and mother is essential for successful pregnancy in mammals, little was known about the details of this process before the two scientists began their collaboration to elucidate on these relationships," the Wolf Prize committee wrote. "
Contact: Kathleen Phillips
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications