Professor Stanley Prusiner ForMemRS
Stanley Prusiner is a neurologist and biochemist who was awarded a Nobel Prize for his discovery of prions. Prions are the infectious self-producing pathogens responsible for degenerative diseases of the brain. Stanley’s research deals with BSE, or mad cow disease, and its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease — along with other related diseases.
His initial prion hypothesis, which he published in 1982, was met with a torrent of criticism. However, by the early 1990s the scientific community began to accept the existence of prions. His work is now acknowledged as having had a profound effect on the future of biomedical research, revolutionising our thinking on the biology of transmissible and neurodegenerative diseases.
Stanley was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 1992 and to its governing council in 2007. In addition, he is an elected member of numerous other societies and academies. He has received many prestigious awards, including the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and the US National Medal of Science in 2009.