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The Announcement for the Prince Mahidol Award 2010

Today (11 November 2010) at 14.30 hrs., Clinical Professor Teerawat Kulthanan, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, in the capacity of Vice President of the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, Mr.Thani  Thongphakdi, Acting Director-General of the Department of Information, and 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 press conference to announce the 19th  Prince Mahidol Award for the year 2010 at the Prince Mahidol Musuem, 2nd Floor, Syamindra Building, Siriraj Hospital. 


    

               The Prince Mahidol Award Committee has decided to confer this year’s Prince Mahidol Award in the field of medicine to Professor Nicholas J. White, Chairman of Wellcome-Trust South East Asian Tropical Medicine Research Units, Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University and Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford and Professor Kevin Marsh, Director of Wellcome-KEMRI Research Programme, Kenya and Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford. In the field of public health, the Prince Mahidol Award is conferred to Professor Ananda S. Prasad, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Professor Kenneth H. Brown, Professor of Nutrition, University of California at Davis and Professor Robert E. Black, Professor and Chairman, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins University.
      

                There are a total of 72 nominations from 31 countries.  The Scientific Advisory Committee carefully screened all candidates from the year 2010, 2009, and 2008 and then submitted a short list of the candidates to the International Award Committee who scrutinized 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 on 1 November 2010 in which the final decision on the Prince Mahidol Award 2010 was made.


     

The Prince Mahidol Award  2010

In the field of Medicine:


Professor Nicholas J. White (United Kingdom)


Chairman, Wellcome-Trust South East Asian Tropical Medicine Research Units
Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand
Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
For outstanding contribution in the use of artemisinin-based combination treatment for Malaria

                      Professor Nicholas J. White is world leader on the treatment of malaria especially on the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies.  He and his team carefully conducted a series of clinical studies that clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of artemisinin for treatment of previously drug-resistant malaria, first in Southeast Asia and subsequently elsewhere around the world.  Professor White advocates the combination of artemisinin with other drugs in order to increase the effectiveness and to avoid further drug resistance.  This approach is now widely accepted by the World Health Organization.  Artemisinin-based combination therapy has now become the recommended treatment of malaria worldwide, both in uncomplicated and severe cases.  The careful clinical and pharmacological studies conducted by Professor White and colleagues have made a major contribution to the establishment of current treatment protocols and policy.  This approach saves millions of live of the population in developing countries especially in Asia and Africa where drug-resistant malaria is endemic.


Professor Kevin Marsh (United Kingdom)


Director, Wellcome-KEMRI (Kenya Medical Research Institute)              Research Programme, Kenya
Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
For outstanding contribution in the understanding of immune epidemiology of Malaria

                         Professor Kevin Marsh pioneers the studies of immune epidemiology of malaria.  Based mainly in Africa, his earlier studies showed the importance of strain-specific immunity in malaria.  His team examines life cycle of malaria parasites in human body and how the body responds to the infection.  This led to the recognition of several classes of variants of specific malaria antigens that play a key role in the pathogenesis of the disease.  He and his colleagues further carried out immunological and clinical studies on several aspects of malaria in young African children which led to current understanding of the disease process and the effects of treatment.  These works provide the basis for the development of vaccines for malaria to cover various strain variations.
 


The Prince Mahidol Award  2010

In the field of Public Health :


Professor Ananda S. Prasad (U.S.A.)


Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Wayne State University
For pioneering works on the importance of zinc in human health

 

                        Professor Ananda S. Prasad described first cases of human zinc deficiency syndrome in 1963 in young adults with delayed sexual development, short stature, anemia, enlargement of liver and spleen, and abnormalities of bone maturation.  Zinc supplementation resulted in significantly increase in height, weight, bone development and sexual maturation.  This pioneering work highlighted the importance of zinc in the health of human and brought the attention of scientific and public health communities to further studying this important trace element.  This discovery forms the basis that leads to zinc supplementation to improve the health condition of population around the world.  Twenty percents of the world population are at risk of zinc deficiency.  Professor Prasad continues to work on elucidating the biochemical and immunological mechanism of zinc at the cellular level.  The study lead to the understanding how zinc deficiency affects human white blood cells and lower host defense system.


Professor Kenneth H. Brown (U.S.A.)

 
Professor of Nutrition, University of California, Davis
For outstanding work on zinc supplementation

                     Professor Kenneth H. Brown devotes most of his career generating information and developing programs to improve nutritional and health status, especially in controlling and preventing zinc deficiency.  He and his team conducted a series of community-based clinical trials of the effect of zinc supplementation on the child growth and development as well as risk of infection.  The studies showed that additional zinc supplementation help decreasing the incidence and severity of diarrhea and pneumonia especially in children living in developing countries.  Children born to mothers who receive zinc supplementation during pregnancy have lower incidence of diarrhea.  He and colleagues further examined and evaluated various zinc fortification and supplementation strategies.  Professor Brown is instrumental in the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group that advocates zinc supplementation, which is now widely accepted as an important public health measure to prevent zinc deficiency as a major contributor for childhood morbidity and mortality. 

 

In the field of Public Health :

Professor Robert E. Black (U.S.A.)

 


Professor and Chairman, Department of International Health
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
For outstanding work on zinc supplementation


                        Professor Robert E. Black’s long-standing works on the importance of childhood nutrition significantly contribute to the wide application of zinc supplementation.  His earlier studies in Bangladesh and India demonstrated that daily zinc supplementation during diarrheal episodes significantly reduced the severity of diarrhea.  Similar situation occurs in pneumonia cases.  He also described the diarrhea-nutrition cycle in which episodes of diarrhea lead to malnutrition and deficiency of trace elements, and in turn further augment the incidence and severity of diarrhea.  The World Health Organization and UNICEF currently recommend that all childhood diarrhea cases should be treated with zinc supplement as well as oral rehydration.  The program has been implemented in more than 40 countries around the world.




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