Prince Mahidol Award Laureates 2014

The recipients of the Prince Mahidol Award 2014 in the field of medicine is Mr. Akira Endo, President of Biopharm Research Laboratories, Inc., and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan, and in the field of public health is Professor Dr. Donald A. Henderson, Distinguished Scholar of the Center for Health Security, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Dean Emeritus of Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, United States.

The announcement was made on 6 November 20014 at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok at a press conference joined by Clinical Professor Dr. Udom Kachintorn, Vice President of the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation (PMAF), Clinical Professor Dr. Supat Vanichkarn, Secretary-General of the PMAF, Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Director-General of the Department of Information, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clinical Professor Dr. Vicharn Panich, Chairman of the International Award Committee of the PMAF, and representatives from the Embassy of Japan and the Embassy of the United States.

Mr. Akira Endo was selected for his discovery of statins — drugs with remarkable LDL-cholesterol-lowering properties that have revolutionized the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease. His pioneering work in discovery of Statin has been recognized as a major milestone to the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease as well as other major vascular diseases. The discovery of Statin by Dr. Endo has shifted the paradigm in coronary heart disease from an unpreventable to a preventable one. His discovery also led to an effective treatment of hypercholesterolemia and a significant reduction of coronary heart disease and stroke, thus saving millions of lives worldwide

Professor Dr. Donald A. Henderson has received the award for his leadership and devotion in eradicating smallpox from the world. From 1966 to 1977, Dr. Henderson led the WHO Smallpox Eradication Unit. The unit coordinated a global effort of mass vaccination campaign and intensive case surveillance that led to eradication of smallpox. The smallpox eradication campaign came to a successful conclusion in 1977 when the last case was reported in Somalia. On 8 May 1980, the WHO declared that the global goal of smallpox eradication had been achieved. Smallpox eradication has not only saved billions of lives but also has set an example on how to tackle more effectively other health problems.

A total of 59 individuals and institutions from 25 countries with outstanding contribution and dedication in the fields of medical services and public health to the international community have been nominated for the Prince Mahidol Award 2014.

His Majesty the King of Thailand has designated Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to preside over the Prince Mahidol Award Ceremony on 28 January 2015 at 17.30 hr at the Chakri Throne Hall within the Grand Palace. Prior to the ceremony, Siriraj Hospital, as a founder of the Prince Mahidol Award, will invite the 2014 Prince Mahidol Award laureates to give lectures, based on their achievements, on 27 January 2015.

In the past 23 years, 68 individuals, groups of individuals, and institutions received the Prince Mahidol Award. Among them, two subsequently received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, namely Professor Dr. Barry James Marshall and Professor Dr. Harald zur Hausen. Two Thais received the Prince Mahidol Award in 1996; they were Professor Prasong Tuchinda and Professor Suchitra Nimmannitya; and two more in 2009; they were Dr.Wiwat Rojanapithayakorn and Mr. Mechai Viravaidya.

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