Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Jeffrey M. Friedman of The Rockefeller University will receive the Keio Medical Science Prize from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.
Valued at 20 million yen (about $220,000), the award aims to reward outstanding achievements in the fields of medicine and life sciences in the hope that it will ultimately contribute to world peace.
Friedman has dedicated his career to unraveling the molecular mechanisms that regulate body weight. Using advanced techniques in neurobiology and genetics, Friedman has identified and characterized the activity of leptin, a hormone secreted by fat cells that balances food intake and energy expenditure. By studying leptin—and continuing to search for other genes that influence weight in humans—Friedman hopes to lay the foundation for developing therapies to combat obesity.
Friedman will receive the Keio Prize at an award ceremony later this year in Tokyo. Previous Keio laureates include HHMI investigators Ronald M. Evans, Roger Tsien, Thomas A. Steitz, and Brian J. Druker.