On 21 November 2018, the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation under the Royal Patronage (PMAF) held a joint press conference at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, to announce the 27th Prince Mahidol Laureates for 2018 in the field of Medicine and Public Health. Ms. Busadee Santipitaks, Director-General of the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, in the capacity of the Chair of the PMAF Public Relations Sub-Committee, together with Professor Prasith Wattanapa, Deputy Chairperson of the PMAF, Professor Supat Vanichyakarn, Secretary-General of the PMAF, Professor Vicharn Panich, Chair of the International Awards Committee, H.E. Mr. Staffan Herrström, Ambassador of Sweden to Thailand, and Mr. Peter Haymond, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the United States of America, were present at the press conference.
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-Clair 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 thus improves the quality of life for mankind and reduces 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 Holmgren worked jointly for over 30 years to study and develop oral cholera vaccine (OCV). A significant discovery from basic research and clinical test regarding vaccines against cholera has been approved by WHO. They have made a great 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.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the Presentation Ceremony of the Prince Mahidol Award 2018 on 31 January 2019 at Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Bangkok.