Bernard Lerer: recipient of the 2014 inaugural Werner Kalow Responsible Innovation Prize in Global Omics and Personalized Medicine (Pacific Rim Association for Clinical Pharmacogenetics).
This article announces the recipient of the 2014 inaugural Werner Kalow Responsible Innovation Prize in Global Omics and Personalized Medicine by the Pacific Rim Association for Clinical Pharmacogenetics (PRACP): Bernard Lerer, professor of psychiatry and director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. The Werner Kalow Responsible Innovation Prize is given to an exceptional interdisciplinary scholar who has made highly innovative and enduring contributions to global omics science and personalized medicine, with both vertical and horizontal (transdisciplinary) impacts. The prize is established in memory of a beloved colleague, mentor, and friend, the late Professor Werner Kalow, who cultivated the idea and practice of pharmacogenetics in modern therapeutics commencing in the 1950s. PRACP, the prize's sponsor, is one of the longest standing learned societies in the Asia-Pacific region, and was founded by Kalow and colleagues more than two decades ago in the then-emerging field of pharmacogenetics. In announcing this inaugural prize and its winner, we seek to highlight the works of prize winner, Professor Lerer. Additionally, we contextualize the significance of the prize by recalling the life and works of Professor Kalow and providing a brief socio-technical history of the rise of pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine as a veritable form of 21(st) century scientific practice. The article also fills a void in previous social science analyses of pharmacogenetics, by bringing to the fore the works of Kalow from 1995 to 2008, when he presciently noted the rise of yet another field of postgenomics inquiry--pharmacoepigenetics--that railed against genetic determinism and underscored the temporal and spatial plasticity of genetic components of drug response, with invention of the repeated drug administration (RDA) method that estimates the dynamic heritabilities of drug response. The prize goes a long way to cultivate transgenerational capacity and broader cognizance of the concept and practice of responsible innovation as an important criterion of 21(st) century omics science and personalized medicine. A new call is presently in place for the 2016 PRACP Werner Kalow prize. Nominations can be made in support of an exceptional individual interdisciplinary scholar, or alternatively, an entire research team, from any region in the world with a record of highly innovative contributions to global omics science and/or personalized medicine, in the spirit of responsible innovation. The application process is straightforward, requiring a signed, 1500-word nomination letter (by the applicant or sponsor) submitted not later than May 31, 2015.