|Awards and Recognition
When asked in 1989, which paper he felt was his most undervalued, Pauling replied
that it was the sickle cell anemia paper: "The one that perhaps hasn't been recognized
so greatly for its significance was the one that I published with my students and
postdoc fellow in 1949 entitled "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease" [cited over
850 times]. It led to the development of the whole field called the hemoglobinemias
and, in fact, to many other applications."
Yet, the significance of Pauling's work on sickle cell anemia received much acknowledgment
in citations, honors, and awards. According to Science Citation Index, the sickle cell anemia article was among the top 500 most cited articles from 1961-1975
and therefore "one of the most cited articles ever published." In addition, Science Citation Index compiled a list of Linus Pauling's publications cited more than 200 times between
1945 and 1988, and ranked "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease" as Pauling's second-most
cited article with 863 citations. The most-cited publication is Pauling's book The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction
to Modern Structural Chemistry with over 15,000 citations.
Pauling also received awards for his sickle cell anemia work. The American Association
of Clinical Chemists made Pauling an honorary member in 1957 for his work on the nature
of the chemical bond, in structural chemistry, and for "[His] theories and execution
of brilliant experiments contributed to the understanding of proteins, immunological
reactions and developing the concept of 'molecular disease.'" In 1963 Modern Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association, gave Pauling an Award for Distinguished
Achievement for his interdisciplinary accomplishments in genetics and structural chemistry.
Although the award itself does not specifically mention sickle cell anemia, the magazine
article focused on Pauling's coinage of 'molecular disease' and his work on sickle
cell anemia. In 1972 Pauling received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Achievement
Award for his "outstanding contribution in research for sickle cell anemia." Itano
accepted the award for Pauling who could not attend. In 1974, Pauling received the
National Medal of Science from President Gerald Ford for his many contributions to
science including to "the nature of genetic diseases."