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Kolff Wins 2002 Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research

September 23, 2002 — Willem J. Kolff, M.D., Ph.D., University of Utah School of Medicine distinguished professor emeritus of internal medicine, surgery and bioengineering, has been awarded a 2002 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research. Kolff invented the hemodialysis machine during World War II, which prolonged the useful lives of millions of people with kidney disease.

This is the second year in a row that a University of Utah professor has won the Lasker Award. Last year, Mario R. Capecchi, distinguished professor and co-chair of the Department of Human Genetics and distinguished professor of biology received the award for basic medical research.

University of Utah President J. Bernard Machen issued the following statement regarding the award to Kolff. “Dr. Willem Kolff embodies two qualities essential to exceptional scientific achievement: he’s both a dreamer and a doer. That he has so successfully combined both over a lifetime of work makes him truly deserving of the Lasker Award.”

First awarded in 1946, the Lasker Awards – as they are commonly known – are the nation’s most prestigious honor for basic and clinical medical research. Long considered “America’s Nobels”, Lasker Award recipients represent the highest recognition for distinguished achievement, primarily because of the extremely rigorous process of nomination and selection conducted by a jury of the world’s top scientists.

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