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Honoring Dr. Richard Axel

Location: Washington DC

Nov. 19, 2004


Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I rise today to honor Dr. Richard Axel, the co-recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Axel received this prize for research that he and his co-recipient Dr. Linda Buck conducted on the ways in which our brains process smells. Drs. Axel and Buck are pioneers in the field of sensory biology, and have contributed much to our knowledge of how humans comprehend olfactory information. Their prize-winning research was conducted at Columbia University Medical Center, where Dr. Axel is a University Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and Pathology.

Dr. Axel grew up in Brooklyn and received his earliest training at Manhattan's Stuyvesant High School. Because of his interest in science, he found a job as a glassware washer at a Columbia medical research facility, where he was soon promoted to a research position. By the time he graduated from Columbia College, his work had already been published in scientific journals. Dr. Axel has spent the majority of his subsequent career performing neuroscience research at Columbia University.

I would like to note that Dr. Axel's prize is the latest in a series of distinguished scientific honors earned by residents of New York. The 2003 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Dr. Roderick MacKinnon of Rockefeller University, and in 2000, Dr. Eric Kandel of Columbia University was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Next month, Dr. Axel will travel to Stockholm to accept the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. I ask that all of my colleagues join me in congratulating Dr. Axel for receiving this tremendous honor. I look forward to learning of the future discoveries that will result from Dr. Axel's groundbreaking research.

I ask that an article about Dr. Axel from In Vivo, the Columbia University Medical Center campus newspaper, be printed in the RECORD following my remarks.

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