5 laureates receive prizes after delay
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn represented His Majesty the King to confer the 2020 and 2021 Prince Mahidol Award at Chakri Throne Hall in the Grand Palace to five laureates in the fields of medicine and public health.
The ceremony took place on Thursday after being delayed over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, two of 44 nominees from 18 countries were selected, the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation committee announced.
In the field of medicine, the prize was awarded to Dr Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, both in New York. In the field of public health, the award went to Dr Bernard Pecoul from France.
According to the committee, Dr Fuster's discovery proved his outstanding performance and contribution to the health and welfare of patients with embolism and/or coronary heart disease. His research found that aspirin can prevent abnormal blood clotting that can be fatal to individuals with narrowed heart arteries, especially before heart bypass surgery can be carried out.
The committee also conferred the prestigious award on Dr Pecoul, the director of Medicine Sans Frontiers, who says his career started in Thailand many years ago. He founded the Drugs for Neglected Disease Initiative (DNDi) in 2003 with the goal of providing quality drugs for lesser-known diseases such as leishmaniasis (a parasitic disease) and sleeping sickness, to poor countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia.
In 2021, three of 86 nominations from 35 countries won the Prince Mahidol Award.
In the field of medicine, the award went to Assoc Prof Katalin Kariko, a Hungarian biochemist and researcher from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States; Prof Drew Weissman, director of vaccine research for infectious diseases at the Department of Medicine's Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; and Prof Pieter Cullis from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
The award was conferred to honour their works in the development of mRNA vaccines for Covid-19.
- Prince Mahidol Award