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UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

01/24/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/24/2020 07:31

Three Research Scientists win the 2019 UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize

Addis Ababa- 23 January 2020 - Three distinguished scientists in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to receive the 2019 UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences on the occasion of the 33rd Ordinary Session of African Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the 10th of February 2020.

The three laureates are Prof. Cato T. Laurencin of the Connecticut Convergence Institute,USA, Prof. Kevin McGuigan of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland-(RCSI) and Prof. Youyou Tu of the Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

The UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences rewards significant efforts of individuals or institutions through scientific research towards improving the quality of human life. Life sciences hold the key to a better future, as they contribute to poverty eradication, improved health, food and water security. The core objectives of the Prize is to encourage research, enhance collaboration amongst researchers and reinforce networks of centers of excellence in the life sciences towards these goals.

Prof. Cato T. Laurencin is the Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering and the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is awarded for his outstanding contributions to the advancement in biomaterials, stem cell science, nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, and a new field he has pioneered, regenerative engineering.

Prof. Kevin McGuigan is from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland-(RCSI). He is rewarded for his cutting-edge research on the development and implementation of solar water disinfection technology (SODIS) to combat waterborne diseases among people without access to safe drinking water in Africa and Asia.

Prof. Youyou Tu of the Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, is Laureate of the 2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine. She is recognized for her research into parasitic diseases who discovered an entirely new anti-malarial treatment, artemisinin, that made possible treatment of thousands of patients in China in the 1980s.

The Prize is funded by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and is given annually to a maximum of three laureates-who receive a monetary award of USD 350,000, divided equally among laureates, to help further their research, together with a certificate and the 'Integracion Tribal' statuette by Equatorial Guinean artist Leandro Mbomio.

The Prize was established by UNESCO's Executive Board, to support the achievement 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as UNESCO's global priorities included in the Medium-Term Strategy 2014-2021.

The award ceremony for this fifth edition of the prize will take place at the African Union Headquarters in Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia) on Monday, 10 February 2020 in the presence of distinguished guests including the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.