Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, as Representative of His Majesty the King, presided over the Prince Mahidol Award 2018 Ceremony at the Chakri Throne Hall on 31 January 2019, at 17.30 hours. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn also presided over a Dinner in honour of the laureates at the Boromrajasathitmaholarn Hall at 19.30 hours.
This year, a total of 49 nominations from 25 countries were received. The Scientific Advisory Committee screened the nominations and subsequently submitted a short list of the candidates to the Board of Trustees. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the meeting of the Board of Trustees on 2 November 2018, at which the final decision on the Prince Mahidol Award 2018 was reached.
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 from the United States of America.
Professor Brian J. Druker made a significant research discovery in the field of targeted cancer therapy. He developed a prototype drug called “Imatinib” for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Professor Mary-Claire King discovered a gene causing breast cancer, the most common cancer among women. Each year, there are over 2 million new cases of breast cancer resulting in 200,000 deaths.
These findings demonstrate the high impact of basic research, diagnosis, and treatment of common cancers, and therefore improved the quality of life for mankind and reduced the mortality rates of CML and breast cancer among millions of people worldwide.
The Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health is awarded to Professor John D. Clemens, from the United States of America, and Professor Jan R. Holmgren, from the Kingdom of Sweden.
Professor John D. Clemens and Professor Jan R. Holmgren worked jointly for over 30 years to study and develop oral cholera vaccine (OCV). Their significant discovery based on basic research and clinical tests regarding vaccines against cholera has been approved by WHO. They have made significant impact by recommending that cholera vaccines be provided orally rather than injected. This has also led to the establishment of an OCV stockpile to support countries at risk of or affected by the spread of cholera to help save the lives of millions of people worldwide.
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 prize in the sum of US $100,000.
The video of the Prince Mahidol Award 2018 Ceremony is available here.