Public Service Award

About the Award

The Society’s honor for national leadership supporting biomedical research is selected by the ASCB Public Policy Committee. The ASCB Public Service Award recognizes outstanding public service in support of biomedical research or advocacy of sound research policies. The nominator or self-nominator must be an ASCB member, but the award winner need not be an ASCB member or a scientist.

Award Details

The winner will be featured in a video at the ASCB|EMBO Meeting Keynote and receives a certificate.

Who is Eligible

An individual who has demonstrated outstanding national leadership in support of biomedical research or the advocacy of sound research policies. Nominators and self-nominators must be ASCB members. The award winner may, but need not, be a scientist.

Nominees for and recipients of ASCB honorific awards and prizes are expected to exemplify and to continue to exemplify the highest standards of professional conduct. Letters of support should explicitly address whether a nominee’s professional conduct over their career embodies the principles and expectations noted in ASCB’s Mission Statement, the Anti-Harassment Policy and the Workforce Diversity Statement.

As a founder of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA , the ASCB does not use journal impact factors or other journal-based metrics in the evaluation process for its award candidates. The ASCB looks at an individual’s research contributions and impact on the field, rather than the prestige of the journals where work is published.

How to Apply


Applications are now closed. Award winners will be announced on September 1, 2021

  • A biosketch that follows the NIH (or similar format) no longer than 5 pages.
  • A narrative statement of no more than 2 pages that addresses how your, or your nominee’s, achievements have contributed to the advancement of at least 3 of the 5 core elements of the ASCB mission statement, with one of the elements addressing the nature of this award.
  • No more than 3 letters of support, none longer than 2 pages. At least one of the supporting letters must be from someone who is neither a collaborator, former trainee, nor mentor of the candidate; and who is at a different institution than the candidate.

All Recent Awardee Photos

Award Winners

  • 2020—Anthony Fauci, for a career of outstanding research, leadership, and scientific acumen during global crises caused by new and emerging diseases.
  • 2019—James F. Deatherage, for invaluable guidance of scientists at all career stages, particularly young investigators, and advocacy for and stewardship of the cell biology community.
  • 2018—Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo), for their unwavering support of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, basic biomedical research, and biomedical scientists.
  • 2018—Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), for their unwavering support of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, basic biomedical research, and biomedical scientists.
  • 2016—Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), for support of scientific research, science education, and American scientists.
  • 2014—Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), for his support of science education, scientific research, and American scientists.
  • 2013—Jeremy Berg, for work as a strong and vocal advocate of basic research and outspoken support of the basic research community.
  • 2012—Keith Yamamoto, for omnipresent and continuous effort, vision, and leadership on behalf of the life science community.
  • 2010—Tom Pollard, for years of dedicated service to the ASCB and the scientific community at large, pioneering leadership in grassroots scientific advocacy, and effective Congressional education.
  • 2009—Larry Goldstein, in recognition of long standing influence on public policies affecting biomedical research, advocacy for strong support for basic research free from political intervention, and articulate communication of the value of science.
  • 2008—Maxine Singer, in recognition of more than thirty years of service as a leading public citizen of science.
  • 2007—Representative Michael N. Castle (R-DE), for strong leadership on behalf of stem cell research, and commitment to the National Institutes of Health.
  • 2006—Barbara Forrest and Ken Miller, for their dedication and defense of, science and science education, particularly against the threat of Intelligent Design, and for their crucial involvement in the landmark case, Kitzmiller v. Dover.
  • 2005—Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), for leadership in support of expanding Federal policy for funding of human embryonic stem cell research and against Congressional efforts to criminalize certain areas of research.
  • 2004—Elizabeth Blackburn, for outstanding contributions to science, courageous service on the President’s Council on Bioethics, and dedication to the scientific community.
  • 2003—Paul Berg, for over 30 years of public service as advocate for the biomedical research community, inspiring fellow scientists and bettering the lives of the American People.
  • 2002—Matthew Meselson, for untiring dedication to informing national policy on chemical and biological weapons and for committed public service.
  • 2001—Christopher Reeve, for work as an activist on behalf of biomedical science, stem cell research, and the disabled.
  • 2000—Donna Shalala, US Health & Human Services Secretary
  • 1999—Harold Varmus, for extraordinary accomplishments as a scientist, outstanding leadership of the National Institutes of Health and for inspiring congress with a new national vision for medical research.
  • 1998—J. Michael Bishop
  • 1997—Representative George Gekas (R-PA)
  • 1996—Marc Kirschner
  • 1995—Representative John Porter (R-IL)
  • 1994—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)