Today (12th November 2015) 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, Mr.Sek Wannamethee, Director-General of the Department of Information, 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 press conference to announce the 24th Prince Mahidol Award for the year 2015 at the Prince Mahidol Museum, 2nd Floor, Syamindra Building, Siriraj Hospital.
The Prince Mahidol Award Foundation of which H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is the President, has decided to confer this year’s Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine to Professor Morton M. Mower from U.S.A. In the field of Public Health, the Prince Mahidol Award is conferred to Sir Michael Gideon Marmot from The United Kingdom.
There are a total of 51 nominations from 19 countries. The Scientific Advisory Committee carefully screened all candidates from the year 2015, 2014, 2013 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 30th October 2015 in which the final decision on the Prince Mahidol Award 2015 was made.
In the past 24 years, 70 individuals, groups of individuals, and institutions had received the Prince Mahidol Award. Among them, 4 subsequently received the Nobel Prize. More importantly, 2 of the most the recent Nobel Prize (2015) laureates in physiology or medicine were conferred the Prince Mahidol Award prior to their continual prestigious recognition:
– 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.
– 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 2005 as an organizational category—for the discovery of qinghaosu as a new drug for treatment of the P.falciparum malaria.
Honorable Mention of the Prince Mahidol Award Laureates, who later received further recognition:
– 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 indentified as Helicobacter pylori that caused severe gastritis, and its sensitivity to particular antibacterial drugs. He later received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2005 for the same discovery.
– 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 later received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2008 for the same discovery.
– Dr. Margaret F.C. Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health in 2006 for her various preventive and promotive health campaigns and risk managements launched in various scales, locations.
Honorable Mention of the Thai laureates of the Prince Mahidol Award:
-Professor Dr. Prasong Tuchinda was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 1996. His research works have formed the basis for further investigations and development of dengue vaccine for the prevention and control of dengue hemorrhagic fever in Thailand as well as in Southeast Asian countries in the future.
-Dr. Suchitra Nimmannitya was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health in 1996. Dr. Nimmannitya has developed guidelines for management. Both clinical diagnostic criteria and regimen of management of DHF which she has developed and used at the Children’s Hospital have been adopted as recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1974 and are now widely used in areas where DHF is present.
– Dr. Wiwat Rojanapithayakorn was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health in 2009. While serving as Director, Office of Communicable Disease Control Region 4 in Ratchaburi, Thailand in 1989, initiated the “100% Condom Use Programme” which has been recognized worldwide as one the most successful HIV/AIDS prevention tools.
– Mr. Mechai Viravaidya was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health in 2009. He founded the Community-based Family Planning Services in 1974, currently known as the Population and Community Development Association (PDA). His tireless proponent of the use of condom to prevent pregnancy through the unique communication campaigns has demystified condoms, previously the taboo subject and unspoken issue in the public to become commonly-use item.
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 January 1, 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.
Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand have graciously designated Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to preside over the Presentation Ceremony of the Prince Mahidol Award 2015 at the Chakri Throne hall on January 28, 2016 at 17.30 hours. Prior to the Ceremony, Siriraj Hospital, as a founder of the Prince Mahidol Award, will invite the 2015 Prince Mahidol Award Laureates to give lectures based on their achievement on January 27, 2016.
Prince Mahidol Award Laureate 2015
in the Field of Medicine
Professor Morton M. Mower
Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore)
Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Howard University College of Medicine (Washington, D.C.)
The United States of America
Professor Morton M. Mower is the co-inventor of the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD) and the main inventor of the Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) device.
Professor Mower began his work on the AICD invention with Dr. Michel Mirowski, a physician from Israel, in 1969 while working on cardiovascular drug research at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, USA. . It was a breakthrough technology to help patients with abnormal heart rhythms known as ventricular fibrillation (VF) and ventricular tachycardia (VT).
The AICD is a device to be implanted inside the human body, and able to perform cardioversion, defibrillation and pacing of the heart, without the need of external defibrillator. It constantly monitors the rate and rhythm of the heart and can deliver electrical current when the heart rate was abnormal. After the concept of AICD was began on 1969, the first implantation in patient was performed in 1980. The device was approved by the U.S. FDA in 1984. The use of this device markedly decreased the death rate of patients with cardiac arrhythmia, comparing to using only medical therapy. Up to 200,000 patients are implanted with this device each year, and a total of 2-3 million people around the world are currently using it. The AICD device is not only saving lives, but also helps improve the living quality of survivors.
Professor Mower completed the pre-medical program at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University in 1955 and went on to graduate from the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland in 1959. He served his residency and fellowship in cardiology at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore (Maryland, USA).
Prince Mahidol Award Laureate 2015
in the Field of Public Health
Sir Michael Gideon Marmot
Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity
Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London,
London University, United Kingdom
President of the World Medical Association
Sir Michael Gideon Marmot has been a pioneer in the field of social epidemiology for over 35 years. His research focuses on the effects of race, lifestyle, socioeconomic status, inequalities and the environment on the health, life expectancy and risks for diseases both within and between countries globally.
He is most recognized for his evidence-based evaluation on the Social Determinants of Health (SDH), i.e. the conditions affecting health, disease prevention and long-term capability development of people from birth through old age, which include socio-economic levels, schooling, fair employment, standards of living and access to healthy environments. This concept of SDH was employed by the British Government to address health inequity issues and strengthened the capacities to provide better well-being, and later spread throughout the European communities. Recognizing the importance of SDH, World Health Organization has adopted it for public policy planning and appointed the Commission on Social Determinants of Health in March 2005, which Sir Marmot was chaired from its inception. His contribution has changed the practices in the formation of health policies to the health equity, thus saving hundreds of millions by reducing the gap of inequities around the world.
Sir Marmot graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University of Sydney in 1968. He earned a Master of Public Health in 1972 and a PhD in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley (USA).