''It's always wonderful to be appreciated,'' said Yanofsky, 79, the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology, Emeritus, at Stanford. ''It's not what we do research for, but nevertheless, it's nice when it happens, and everyone else can enjoy it, too-my friends, family and colleagues.''
Yanofsky's medal brings the number awarded to scholars at Stanford, including the Hoover Institution, to 31.
Established by Congress in 1959, the National Medal of Science honors individuals for pioneering scientific research that has led to a better understanding of the world. The National Science Foundation administers the medals.
A member of Stanford's Department of Biological Sciences faculty since 1958, Yanofsky was recognized for expanding the frontier of knowledge in molecular biology and earning a reputation as one of the most important molecular biologists of the 20th century. His major contributions include establishing the ''one gene, one protein'' relationship; demonstrating the RNA-based regulation of gene expression; and his early discovery of colinearity, the linear relationship between the structures of genes and their protein products, considered an essential element in revealing the details of the genetic code.
His subsequent experiments on the regulation of gene expression led to the discovery of transcriptional attenuation, a process that enables the gene regulatory machinery to fine-tune its response to subtle environmental cues. That work also revealed how alterations in RNA structure allow RNA to serve as a regulatory molecule in both bacterial and animal cells.
''Everything the body does, or that an organism is capable of doing, is controlled by the genes that specify a c
Contact: Mark Shwartz