Engineer gets 2022 Lasker Award for building COVID-19 world tracker

Lauren Gardner has been honoured for building COVID-19 global tracker.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Updated29 Sep 2022
Lauren Gardner is an engineer who studies the spread of diseases.
Lauren Gardner is an engineer who studies the spread of diseases.

The 2022 Lasker Award for public service was given to an engineer from Johns Hopkins University for building a website to monitor COVID-19 cases around the world. The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced $250,000 in awards to honour breakthroughs in medical research.

Also Read: Heart dysfunction, COVID-19 booster vaccines in India have no links, say experts

The public service honour went to Lauren Gardner, an engineer who studies the spread of diseases. Her lab team developed the COVID-19 tracker when the coronavirus began to spread internationally in January 2020. The dashboard evolved into a useful tool that today tracks cases, deaths, immunizations, and other things on a global scale. The team has always made the tracker accessible to the public.

Also Read: COVID: Infected children are at higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes

According to a press release from the Lasker Foundation, the dashboard set "a new standard for public health data science" and assisted in guiding both private decisions and public policy.

Also Read: COVID much more than respiratory disease: WHO on why woes related to virus not yet over

Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, a molecular biologist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, received the award for medical research for developing a prenatal blood test that can screen for Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. Lo discovered that the mother's blood included foetal DNA, enabling genetic screening to be performed by blood test rather than a more invasive operation.

Also Read: Covid could cause more grey strands. Here's how to look after your hair health

Three researchers—Richard O. Hynes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Erkki Ruoslahti of the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California, and Timothy A. Springer of the Harvard Medical School—shared the fundamental research prize. They were honoured for their work on important immunity proteins known as integrins, which assist cells in adhering to molecules and other adjacent cells. Their research assisted in the establishment of the discipline of integrin study, which later produced fresh approaches to the management of disease.

(With AP inputs)

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