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The Dickson Prize in Medicine

The Dickson Prize in Medicine is awarded annually to a leading American investigator who is engaged in innovative, paradigm-shifting biomedical research. Previous winners >

Great Science

2023 Dickson Prize Goes to Clifford Brangwynne

Prize is Pitt School of Medicine’s most prestigious annual award

Clifford Brangwynne, PhD, is the recipient of the 2023 Dickson Prize in Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s highest honor.

Brangwynne’s research launched the “biomolecular condensates” cell biology field when he unified material sciences with biology. He and his colleagues discovered that biomolecules in a cell can organize themselves into liquid-like droplets that function as membraneless organelles to host biochemical reactions and interactions. Integrating engineering, physics, molecular biology, and chemistry, he and his colleagues proposed and helped demonstrate that malfunctions in fusion and separation during condensate phase transitions lead to the formation of solid structures—analogous to those found in Alzheimer’s disease. His recent studies have harnessed light-sensitive proteins to manipulate condensate dynamics to characterize pathological outcomes resulting from disruptions to their phase transitions. He and his team continue to develop tools to define the biophysical properties of condensates and explore the utility of this knowledge in biotechnology and medicine.

Brangwynne is the June K. Wu ’92 Professor of Engineering and professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and a MacArthur Fellow.

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Committee Members

View a list of the Pitt faculty members on the Dickson Prize in Medicine Committee. >


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Eyes on the Prize

Winning Medal Performance

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