About the Pearse Prize

The Pearse Prize was established by the RMS HIstochemistry and Cytochemistry Section (now Life Sciences) in 1982 to honour the contribution made to histochemistry by Professor AGE Pearse. The prize is awarded to a scientist who has made a significant contribution to histochemistry and life sciences and is still active in their field. It will not be restricted to any particular age group.

It is typically awarded every 4 or 5 years (and not more frequently than every 2 years) and only then when it is felt there is a suitable candidate. It is generally regarded as one of the international honours in histochemistry and the life sciences, with an emphasis on microscopy.

Previous Winners

1989 - Professor Moshe Wolman
1991 - Dr Robert E Smith
1994 - Professor Stanley J Holt
1996 - Professor Igor Kvetnoy
2000 - Professor Roger Tsien
2004 - Professor Osamu Shimomura
2010 - Dr Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz
2015 - Professor Xiaowei Zhuang

Professor Zhuang has pioneered super-resolution microscopy techniques, being one of the most well known scientists in this field of research in the world. Her lab works on the forefront of single-molecule biology and bioimaging, and has a long history of developing and applying advanced optical imaging techniques to study the behavior of individual biological molecules and molecular assemblies in vitro and in live cells. In particular she continues to work on the development of super-resolution optical microscopy that allows cell and tissue imaging with nanoscopic scale resolution and she applies this technology to cell biology and neurobiology, she also develops optical approaches to investigate how proteins and nucleic acids interact, using single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy; and finally, she investigates how viruses and cells interact using imaging techniques with high spatiotemporal resolution.  Her research is highly cited (overall citation count is 11533). Her two seminal papers on STORM (Huang et al (2008) Science and Rust et al., (2006) Nature Methods) have been cited 1592 and 635 times respectively, and have had a wide impact on the imaging field

Nominations Procedure

A request for nominations will be made for a year as agreed by the Life Sciences Committee. The Pearse Prize will be awarded to a scientist who has made a valuable contribution either:
a) to the development of new techniques, or
b) through the application of existing methods

The name of each candidate must be accompanied by:
a) a letter of recommendation containing a statement of reasons for the nomination, supported by two persons familiar with the work of the candidate.
b) a Curriculum Vitae, which must include a list of his/her publications
c) the written consent of the candidate

The Pearse Prize will be awarded as a Medal. The recipient will be required to deliver a lecture to the Royal Microscopical Society.

The selection of the prizewinner will be made by a committee of trustees consisting of the Chair of the RMS Life Sciences Section, and past Chairs of that Section.

History of the Pearse Prize Fund

The Pearse Prize and Lectureship Fund was launched in 1982 in honour of the considerable contribution made by Tony Pearse to histochemistry throughout the world. The idea was developed by Drs PJ Stoward and JM Polak who organised and edited a Festschrift to Professor Pearse on his retirement. The resulting book, Histochemistry: The Widening Horizons of its Application in the Biomedical Sciences was published by John Wiley. All the contributors, distinguished friends of Tony Pearse, generously agreed that the royalties be paid into a special trust fund to be administered separately by the RMS. 

Professor Tony Pearse was the first Chair of the Histochemistry and Cytochemistry Section when it was formed in 1965. He was elected as President of the RMS in 1972 and served until 1973.



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