President Bruce Stillman wins prestigious Gairdner Award

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y., April 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Bruce Stillman, President and CEO of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), has been awarded the 2019 Canada Gairdner International Award in honor of his pivotal contributions to basic research.

Dr. Bruce Stillman. Photo Credit: ©Gina Motisi, 2018/CSHL

The Canada Gairdner International Award recognizes researchers who have made seminal discoveries or contributions to biomedical science. Dr. Stillman is being honored for “pioneering research on the eukaryotic DNA replication cycles including initiation, regulation, and responses to DNA damage.” The award is shared with Stillman’s collaborator Dr. John Diffley, Associate Director of the Francis Crick Institute and Dr. Stillman’s former postdoctoral fellow.

Stillman’s discovery of the Origin Recognition Complex (ORC) and his research on the process and regulation of chromosome replication have changed how scientists understand chromosomes. The Gairdner Foundation’s announcement states that “by describing the exact sequence of events involved in DNA replication, Stillman and Diffley have provided key insights into how our genome is duplicated and how this process is coordinated with many other essential cellular events, which have implications for understanding genome instability and tumor heterogeneity in cancer.”

“The entire faculty of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory joins me in congratulating Bruce on receiving this well-deserved and prestigious award honoring his groundbreaking research accomplishments in the field of DNA replication,” said CSHL Director of Research Dr. David Spector. “CSHL has benefited greatly from Bruce’s dedication to both basic research and his profound role as President and CEO, guiding the institution on a positive trajectory.”

As an expert in DNA replication, Stillman has been elected to the Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Australian Academy of Science. Stillman and Dr. Thomas Kelly of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center were awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Prize by the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation in 2004. Stillman has received the Basic Science award from the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Herbert Tabor Research Award, and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize. He was also recently elected as an American Association for Cancer Research Fellow.

The Gairdner Awards are given by the Gairdner Foundation. 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the awards, and the new class of honorees will be presented with their awards at the annual Canada Gairdner Awards Gala in Toronto on October 24, 2019.

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit

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