Every year BioMed SA, San Antonio’s nonprofit biomedical sector accelerator, honors individuals – rock stars of the science world, really – that advance the healthcare and bioscience fields with significant research and/or inventions.

The 2015 recipient of the Julio Palmaz Award for Innovation in Healthcare and the Biosciences, Dr.William Esco (“W.E.”) Moerner, also won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2014 for his work on the first super-resolution microscope at Stanford University in California.

The groundbreaking super-res microscope has made it possible to “visualize the inner working of cells and observe single molecules at the smallest scales,” stated a BioMed SA press release.

Dr.William Esco ("W.E.") Moerner
Dr.William Esco (“W.E.”) Moerner serves as the Harry S. Mosher Professor of Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford University in California. Courtesy photo.

“I am very happy to accept the Julio Palmaz Award,” stated Dr. Moerner, “as this recognizes the lifelong efforts of me, my collaborators, and my colleagues in the field to study single molecules and to develop useful applications such as super-resolution microscopy.”

Dr. Moerner will be honored during an award dinner and ceremony on Sept. 10 at Grand Hyatt San Antonio. It coincides with BioMed SA’s 10th anniversary.

“(The super-res microscope) represents a fundamental, transformational change in the field of medical science, opening up new potential for drug discoveries,” said Palmaz Committee Chair Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Dr. Moerner is the second Jefferson High School alum to win the Nobel – also in chemistry. He graduated from the northwest side school in 1972. Every other year, the Palmaz Award is given to scientists from San Antonio and alternates with those from the national field. This year, for the first time, the award will go to someone who is both.

“The selection of a visionary scientist such as Dr. Moerner, who was raised in San Antonio and went on to win the world’s most distinguished prize in chemistry, is a testament to what bright young minds here in our region can aspire to and achieve,” stated BioMed SA Chair Kenneth P. Trevett.

According to a news release, “Dr. Moerner holds degrees in physics, electrical engineering, and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He began his career as a scientist in the IBM Research Division in San Jose, California and served on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego before joining Stanford University in 1998.”

Click here to see a full list of previous recipients.

*Featured/top image: BioMed SA’s annual breakfast meeting in 2013. Courtesy photo.

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Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. Contact her at iris@sareport.org