Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, in January 2022 received the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine, along with other renowned figures in science and medicine. Among those named by Thailand’s Royal Family to receive the Prince Mahidol Award since 1997 are five who subsequently received the Nobel Prize.
In November 2020, Dr. Fuster was named a recipient of the prestigious Prince Mahidol Award in recognition of his international leadership over the past four decades as a clinical scientist, for his breakthrough contributions to cardiovascular medicine, and more recently as an advocate for promoting global cardiovascular health worldwide. The other 2020 recipient, Bernard Pécoul, MD, MPH, Founder and Executive Director, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, received the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health. He was previously Executive Director for Médecins Sans Frontières. The 2020 awards ceremony was put off due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In Thailand on January 27, 2022, Dr. Fuster received his award during a special televised ceremony, joining the 2021 recipients of the Prince Mahidol Award: Katalin Karikó, PhD, Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, and Pieter Cullis, PhD, whose work on mRNA technology is used in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
In discussing his award, Dr. Fuster said, “Our more recent research is dedicated to understanding the scientific basis of cardiovascular health, including the heart and brain. This award serves as motivation to continue to work toward achieving global cardiovascular health, and I consider it an honor to all the teams across the world who have helped with these projects.” Dr. Fuster also serves as General Director of the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, Spain, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“This award serves as motivation to continue to work toward achieving global cardiovascular health, and I consider it as an honor to all the teams across the world who have helped with these projects.”
- Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD
Dr. Fuster is a past president of both the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, where he served as chair of the Committee on Preventing the Global Epidemic of Cardiovascular Disease, and was a council member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. Fuster was also President of the Training Program of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Fuster’s research is definitive in areas relating to the causes, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease globally, and spans the full range from basic science and molecular biology, through clinical studies and large-scale multinational trials, to population sciences and global medicine. He has 35 worldwide honorary degrees and is the most highly cited Spanish research scientist of all time, according to Google Scholar.
The Prince Mahidol Award Foundation gives out two awards every year for advancing the world’s medical and public health services. The five past winners of the Prince Mahidol Award who subsequently received the Nobel Prize are:
Barry J. Marshall from Australia, who was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health in 2001 for the discovery of the new bacterium identified as Helicobacter pylori that caused severe gastritis and its sensitivity to particular antibacterial drugs. He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2005 for the same discovery.
Harald zur Hausen from Germany, who was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 2005 for the discovery of the human papilloma virus HPV16 and HPV18 from the cancer tissue and elucidated how the viruses turn normal cells into cancer cells. He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2008 for the same discovery.
Satoshi Omura, who was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 1997. He is known for the discovery and development of various pharmaceuticals originally occurring in microorganisms. His research group isolated a strain of Streptomyces Avermitilis that produces the anti-parasitical compound avermectin, which contributed to the development of the drug ivermectin that is currently used against river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and other parasitic infections. He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2015 for the same discovery.
Tu You, a member of the China Cooperative Research Group on Qinghaosu and its Derivatives as Antimalarials, who was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 2003 in an organizational category for the discovery of Qinghaosu as a new drug for treatment of the P.falciparum malaria. She received the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine in 2015 for the same discovery.
Sir Gregory Paul Winter, who was conferred the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine in 2016. He was a pioneer in the field of antibody engineering and modification technology. He invented techniques to humanize antibodies for therapeutic uses, which later led to the creation of cutting-edge therapeutic drugs. He received the Nobel Prize in the field of Chemistry in 2018 for the same discovery.
Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD
President of Mount Sinai Heart, and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital