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Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 605
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5761.605c

Welcoming Foreign Talent. A transplanted Spaniard is the first winner of a $50,000 prize to honor immigrant scientists in the United States.

Joan Massagué, 52, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City has captured the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Research for his work deciphering metastasis. Massagué came to the United States in 1979 as a postdoc. But instead of returning to Barcelona, he nabbed a faculty position at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. “There was no grand plan, no deep vision, just a guy who had some ability,” he says, lamenting that tighter U.S. immigration rules discourage young foreign scientists today from pursuing the path he took.

The prize was created by Jan and Marica Vilcek, who fled Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s for the United States. Jan Vilcek spent his career at New York University, where he helped invent the blockbuster drug Remicade to treat autoimmune diseases.

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