05/11/2012 07:52 EDT | Updated 07/11/2012 05:12 EDT

2 molecular biologists from NYC share $500K medical prize for pioneering research on cells

ALBANY, N.Y. - Two molecular biologists have been awarded the annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

James Darnell Jr. and Robert Roeder received the prize during a ceremony Friday and will share $500,000, the largest award in medicine and science in the United States. The two men performed pioneering research on how cells express their genetic information.

Roeder heads the biochemistry and molecular biology lab at The Rockefeller University in New York City, where Darnell is emeritus faculty.

The two winners were announced in March.