12 Nov 2020
On 12 November 2020, the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation under the Royal Patronage (PMAF) held a joint press conference at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, to announce the Prince Mahidol Award 2020 Laureates in the field of Medicine and Public Health. At the said press conference, Mr. Tanee Sangrat, Director-General of the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, in the capacity as the Chair of the PMAF Public Relations Sub-Committee, together with Professor Dr. Prasith Wattanapa, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, in the capacity of Vice President of the PMAF, Professor Supat Vanichyakarn, Secretary-General of the PMAF, Professor Vicharn Panich, Chair of the International Awards Committee, Dr. John R. MacArthur, Director of Thailand Ministry of Public Health - United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Collaboration, representative of the Ambassador of the United States of America to Thailand, and Dr. Taraneh Shojaei, Regional Counsellor in Global Health, South-East Asia, the French Embassy, representative of the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the French Embassy, were also present.
This year, the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine is awarded to Professor Dr. Valentin Fuster from the United States.
Professor Dr. Valentin Fuster’s prominent work is on the research of the role of platelets in the development of coronary thrombosis and the benefits of antiplatelet agents in preventing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) occlusion after coronary bypass operation. His research findings have greatly reduced the morbidity and mortality rates and helped improve the care for patients with atherosclerotic coronary disease.
Professor Fuster's effort in translating his findings from basic research into clinical discoveries used for treating patients with coronary artery disease, especially the benefit of antiplatelets in the prevention of graft occlusion, has saved the lives of millions of people with coronary artery disease worldwide.
The Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health is awarded to Dr. Bernard Pécoul from France.
Dr. Bernard Pécoul established the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in 2003 as a non-profit research and development organisation, with the aim to develop a safer, effective and affordable treatment for patients with neglected diseases. DNDi has developed 8 effective treatments for neglected diseases, namely malaria, sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis and chagas disease which were later prequalified by WHO as first medicine for neglected tropical diseases in many countries. Prior to his involvement with DNDi, he was Executive Director of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international humanitarian and non-governmental organisation engaged in overcoming barriers to access to essential medicines in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
Dr. Pécoul’s contribution has played an important role in reducing mortality rate and improving the quality of life of millions of people around the world, especially those in developing or low-income countries with neglected diseases.