AACC is proud to announce that AACC member Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, MD, PhD, has won the distinguished 2022 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for his discovery of fetal DNA in maternal blood. This award is one of the most prestigious in medicine and has a reputation for preceding a Nobel Prize.
The Lasker Foundation grants this award every year to a scientist who has achieved a major advance that improves the lives of many thousands of people—something that Dr. Lo’s work has indisputably accomplished. Using his findings on cell-free fetal DNA, Dr. Lo developed noninvasive prenatal testing for common genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. This has revolutionized prenatal care, enabling millions of pregnant patients to get prenatal testing without having to undergo amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling—invasive procedures that increase the risk of miscarriage. Dr. Lo’s research on cell-free DNA also holds the potential to improve diagnosis and monitoring of cancer, as well as detection of organ rejection in transplant patients.
Dr. Lo is the director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences and a professor of chemical pathology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and has been an AACC member since 1997. In recognition of his pioneering work, he previously won the AACC Academy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research in 2012.