Columbia University's Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for 1989 has been awarded to Edwin G. Krebs and Alfred G. Gilman, two biochemists whose lifelong research has traced and explained the intricate communication network that regulates critical processes in living cells. The prize, given by a committee of Columbia medical and science professors, is one of the awards that observers cite as a forerunner to the winning of the Nobel Prize. Twenty-three of the award's winners have gone on to become Nobel laureates.

Krebs, 71, is a senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor of pharmacology at the University of Washington. Gilman is chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The two scientists will share the $22,000 award, given annually for outstanding research in biology or biochemistry.

Krebs was cited for his work on protein phosphorylation, a process that activates...

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