Today (21 November 2018) at 13.30 hrs., Professor Dr. Prasit Watanapa, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, in the capacity of Vice President of the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation; Ms. Busadee Santipitaks, Director-General of the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, in the capacity of the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Public Relations of the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation; and Professor Vicharn Panich, Chairman of the International Award Committee of the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, held a joint press conference to announce the 27th Prince Mahidol Award for 2018 at the Prince Mahidol Memorial Room, 2nd Floor, Syamindra Building, Siriraj Hospital.
This year, the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine is awarded to Professor Brian J. Druker, M.D. and Professor Dr. Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. The Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health is awarded to Professor John D. Clemens, M.D. and Professor Jan R. Holmgren, M.D., Ph.D. (Please find the attachment).
There were 49 nominations from 25 countries in total. The Scientific Advisory Committee carefully screened all candidates from the year 2018, 2017, 2016 and subsequently submitted a short list of the candidates to the International Award Committee who scrutinised and made a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the meeting of the Board of Trustees held on 2 November 2018 during which the final decision on the Prince Mahidol Award 2018 was made.
In the past 26 years, 79 individuals, groups of individuals, and institutions have received the Prince Mahidol Award. Among them, 4 Thai nationals have received
the Prince Mahidol Award: (1) Professor Dr. Prasong Tuchinda and (2) Dr. Suchitra Nimmannitya were conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 1996, and (3) Dr. Wiwat Rojanapithayakorn and (4) Mr. Mechai Viravaidya were conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health in 2009.
Among them, 5 subsequently received the Nobel Prize:
– (1) Professor Barry J. Marshall from Australia was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health in 2001 for the discovery of the new bacterium identified as Helicobacter pylori that caused severe gastritis, and its sensitivity
to particular antibacterial drugs. He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2005 for the same discovery.
– (2) Professor Harald Zur Hausen from Germany was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 2005 for the discovery of the virus, namely human papilloma virus HPV16 and HPV18, from the cancer tissue and elucidated
the mechanism that the viruses turn the normal cell into cancer cells. He received
the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2008 for the same discovery.
– (3) Professor Dr. Satoshi Omura was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in
the field of Medicine in 1997. He is known for the discovery and development
of various pharmaceuticals originally occurring in microorganisms. His research group isolated a strain of Streptomyces avermitilis that produce the anti-parasitical compound avermectin which contributed to the development of the drug ivermectin that is today used against river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and other parasitic infections.
He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2015 for the same discovery.
– (4) Professor Tu You You, a member of The China Cooperative Research Group on Qinghaosu and its Derivatives as Antimalarials, was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 2003 as an organisational category for
the discovery of Qinghaosu as a new drug for treatment of the P.falciparum malaria.
He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2015 for the same discovery
– (5) Sir Gregory Paul Winter was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award
in the field of Medicine in 2016. He was a pioneer in the field of antibody engineering and modification technology. He invented techniques to humanise antibodies for therapeutic uses, which later led to the creation of cutting-edge therapeutic drugs.
He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Chemistry in 2018 for the same discovery.
The Prince Mahidol Award Foundation under the Royal Patronage was established in commemoration of the centenary of the birth of His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla, on 1 January 1992. The Foundation is under the Royal Patronage, with
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn as President. The Foundation annually confers two Prince Mahidol Awards upon individual(s) or institution(s), which have demonstrated outstanding and exemplary contributions to the advancement
of the world’s medical and public health services. Each Award consists of a medal,
a certificate and a sum of US $100,000.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the Presentation Ceremony of the Prince Mahidol Award 2018 at the Chakri Throne hall on 31 January 2019 at 17.30 hours. Prior to the Ceremony, Siriraj Hospital, as a founder of the Prince Mahidol Award, will invite the 2018 Prince Mahidol Award Laureates to give lectures based on their achievements on 30 January 2019.
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