February 1, 2018
We congratulate the two U.S. research teams awarded the prestigious Prince Mahidol Awards on January 31 in Bangkok, Thailand. The awards, presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, recognized the two teams’ remarkable achievements in the fields of medicine and public health.
The annual Mahidol Awards were established in 1992 on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thailand’s Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, grandfather of His Majesty Rama X, the current King of Thailand. Prince Mahidol studied public health and medicine in the United States at MIT and Harvard, and the awards recognize groundbreaking achievements in each of those two fields.
In the field of medicine, the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute was awarded for its work to map the entirety of the human genome. This collaborative effort, led by the United States, but including researchers from 20 institutions in six countries, enabled subsequent waves of new and important medical research. Dr. Eric Green accepted the award on behalf of the Institute. In the field of public health, the U.S. research team of Professor Porter W. Anderson, Jr., Dr. John B. Robbins, Dr. Rachel Schneerson, and Professor Mathuram Santosham were honored for their important work in developing a vaccine to help prevent childhood meningitis.
This year, the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand celebrate 200 years of friendship, dating from initial government to government contact in 1818. The U.S. is proud and deeply honored that the Prince Mahidol Award 2017 has recognized the contributions and achievements of several American medical and public health professionals. The longstanding health cooperation between our two countries continues to be a key component of the relationship. For more than 60 years, the United States and Thailand have worked hand-in-hand to research and develop vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat diseases, ultimately improving the lives of the people of the Kingdom of Thailand, the people of the United States of America, and the people of the world.
The Department of State applauds the winners for their accomplishments, commends the Thai organizers for their vision of a world safe from disease, and deeply appreciates the enduring spirit of scientific and medical cooperation between the United States and Thailand.