The discovery of the Higgs boson has been, for many years, considered one of the so-called holy grails in particle physics. From the Exploratorium website run by the CERN Laboratory:
The question of mass has been an especially puzzling one, and has left the Higgs boson as the single missing piece of the Standard Model yet to be spotted. The Standard Model describes three of nature's four forces: electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces.... the search for the Higgs particle(s) is some of the most exciting research happening, because it could lead to completely new discoveries in particle physics. Some theorists say it could bring to light entirely new types of strong interactions, and others believe research will reveal a new fundamental physical symmetry called "supersymmetry."
Bodek was awarded the 2004 American Physical Society W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics "for his broad, sustained, and insightful contributions to elucidating the structure of the nucleon, using a wide variety of probes, tools, and methods at many laboratories.... His doctoral thesis provided some of the evidence of the quark's existence that was the basis for the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics."