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2009 Newcomb Cleveland Prize Recipients

AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

2009 Award Recipients

Supported by Affymetrix

The 2009 AAAS Newcomb Prize is awarded to Paul Kalas, James R. Graham, Eugene Chiang, Michael P. Fitzgerald, Mark Clampin, Edwin S. Kite, Karl Stapelfeldt, Christian Marois, and John Krist for the research article “Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light-Years from Earth,” published in Science 28 November 2008, pp. 1345-1348


Christian Marois, Bruce Macintosh, Travis Barman, B. Zuckerman, Inseok Song, Jennifer Patience, David Lafrenière, and René Doyon for the research article “Direct Imaging of Multiple Planets Orbiting the Star HR 8799,” published in Science 28 November 2008, pp. 1348-1352.

The Association’s oldest award, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, supported by Affymetrix, was established in 1923 with funds donated by Newcomb Cleveland of New York City. The Prize acknowledges an outstanding paper published in the Articles, Research Articles, or Reports sections of Science. Each recipient receives a bronze medal and a share of the $25,000 prize.

These two papers represent landmark discoveries, as they report the first definitive, direct imaging of exoplanets: the planets that orbit distant stars. The findings result from remarkable technical advances in both imaging and data analysis, which make it possible to separate a planet from its host star. The results are likely to change our view of how planets originate, and may one day lead to the direct imaging of Earth?like planets, so as to search for biosignature gases. This task will be much harder, since such planets will not only be considerably smaller and dimmer, but also much closer to a sun?like star. Nevertheless, with this first significant step, it does not appear impossible.

Honorable Mention

One paper was selected to receive an Honorable Mention:

E. Munch, M.E. Launey, D.H. Alsem, E. Saiz, A.P. Tomsia, and R.O. Ritchie for the report “Tough, Bio-Inspired Hybrid Materials,” published in Science 5 December 2008, pp. 1516-1520.

Affymetrix Inc. added its support to the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize in 2003, helping to more than double the prize’s monetary value. Affymetrix Founder and Executive Chairman, Stephen P.A. Fodor, Ph.D., and his colleagues were awarded the Newcomb Cleveland Prize in 1991 for their landmark publication that first introduced microarray technology to the scientific community. (“Light-directed, spatially addressable parallel chemical synthesis,” with co-authors J. Read, M.C. Pirrung, L. Stryer, A. Lu, and D. Solas, Science 15 February 1991.)

“Receiving the Newcomb Cleveland Award in 1991 was the first important public acknowledgment of our invention,” said Fodor. “Today, the award remains one of our most valued. Affymetrix is thrilled to support its continued legacy. It is important to recognize and encourage the innovative work of new scientists as their work will become the foundation for future research and discovery.”

Affymetrix is a pioneer in creating breakthrough tools that are driving the genomic revolution. By applying the principles of semiconductor technology to the life sciences, Affymetrix develops and commercializes systems that enable scientists to improve quality of life. The company’s customers include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agrichemical, diagnostics, and consumer products companies as well as academic, government, and non-profit research institutes. Affymetrix offers an expanding portfolio of integrated products and services to address growing markets focused on understanding the relationship between genes and human health. Affymetrix has about 1,000 employees worldwide.

Please click here for a list of past recipients.