2021 Honorees

Basic Science
C. David Allis, Ph.D.
Rockefeller University

Dr. Allis is the Joy and Jack Fishman Professor and head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics at The Rockefeller University. Previously, he held faculty positions at the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Virginia Health System. A pioneer in the field of molecular biology, Dr. Allis was awarded the 2018 Lasker Prize in recognition of his “discoveries elucidating how gene expression is influenced by chemical modification of histones — the proteins that package DNA within chromosomes.” The work also provided a foundation for other researchers to discover that errors in histone modifications contribute to several developmental disorders and various forms of cancer, providing new targets for potential therapies and treatments. He is also the recipient of the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2015 Japan Prize, the 2011 Lewis Rosenstiel and Howard Ricketts awards, the 2008 ASBMB-Merck Award, the 2007 Gairdner Foundation International Award, the 2004 Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, the 2003 Massry Prize and the 2002 Dickson Prize in Biomedical Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Medicine
Melissa Moore, Ph.D.
Moderna Therapeutics

Dr. Moore is Chief Scientific Officer, Platform Research, at Moderna Therapeutics, where she is responsible for leading mRNA biology, delivery and computation science research. She joined Moderna in 2016 from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), where she served as Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research and a long-time Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Dr. Moore was also a founding Co-Director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute (RTI) at UMMS, and was instrumental in creating the Massachusetts Therapeutic and Entrepreneurship Realization initiative (MassTERi), a faculty-led program intended to facilitate the translation of UMMS discoveries into drugs, products, technologies and companies. Dr. Moore is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2017) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019). Dr. Moore holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from MIT. She began working on RNA metabolism during her postdoctoral training with Phillip A. Sharp at MIT.


Philanthropy
Nancy B. Parks

Mrs. Parks established the Parks Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellowship in 2019 to support furthering scientific understanding of the underlying causes of cancers, and for the support and encouragement at the most talented young researchers in this field. Improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer is an important philanthropic pursuit of the Parks family. Mrs. Parks established the fund to honor her late husband, The Reverend Doctor Robert Ray Parks, and her late sister, Mary Stuart Auman. Mrs. Parks, who resides in New York City, is the widow of Rev. Dr. Parks, 15th Rector of Trinity Church, Wall Street in New York. Over her many years of outreach and service, Mrs. Parks has been a member of numerous boards and organizations whose missions align with betterment of humanity. A longtime supporter of Hope Funds, she was inducted in 2018 into the organization’s Order of Hope.