NEW YORK, May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Galien Awards Committee announced today that Paula S. Apsell, Executive Producer of the renowned PBS television series NOVA and Director of the Science Unit at Massachusetts public broadcaster WGBH, will receive the 2016 Pro Bono Humanum Award at the 10th annual Prix Galien USA Awards ceremony, to be held on Thursday, October 27, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
The Pro Bono Humanum Award recognizes ground-breaking individual and group initiative that leads to improvement in the state of human health. Ms. Apsell is the second woman recipient of the award and the first from the profession of journalism and communications.
In selecting Ms. Apsell, the Galien Awards Committee – whose members include four Nobel laureates – cited her early and continuing leadership in making the complexities of science and medical research accessible to a mass audience. Through innovative broadcast programming of the highest journalistic standard, her work has educated, entertained and enlightened successive generations of viewers on the mysteries that underlie our understanding of the natural world. And by turning great science into a good story – a human story – Apsell shows that scientific literacy is society's first line of defense against the destructive forces of fear and ignorance that challenge further progress in human health.
This prestigious award, first bestowed in 2007 to Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, Chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and retired Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc., will be presented to Apsell by Awards Committee member and Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Brown, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. It will take place at an evening gala dinner at the American Museum of Natural History attended by more than 500 biopharmaceutical leaders from industry, government, academia and the allied health professions.
Awards Committee Chair Dr. Vagelos said, "Our recognition of Ms. Apsell is a timely one, given the growing importance of science in resolving the world's most pressing policy problems, from the health impacts of climate change to the effective mobilization of talent and resources to battle a growing global burden of disease. The capacity to communicate the contributions of science in a way that the public can understand what it means – to them directly, and to the quality of the lives of future generations – will determine the progress we make against these and other threats to human progress."
Adds Dr. Brown, "Through four decades of directing work on the popular science broadcast series NOVA, Apsell has shown she has that gift of telling solid, brilliantly researched stories with a larger purpose – to inform the debate by bringing wisdom and perspective to public policies that shape the science enterprise."
Honoring a Decade of Discovery
In addition to the Pro Bono Humanum Award, the dinner event will once again honor pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies for products judged to be most innovative against their peers in advancing the state of human health.
In special recognition of this 10th anniversary of the awards program, the Committee will bestow a new "Decade of Discovery" award on three products – a pharmaceutical drug, a biotech-derived drug, and a medical device or diagnostic – drawn from the winners in each eligible category over the past 10 years – 34 in all. As in every case, selections will be made by the Awards Committee on the basis of the best medical evidence, without bias. "This program provides us with a special opportunity to signal out those leaders in private enterprise who do the hard, often unrecognized work of bringing to market innovations that improve the lives of millions of patients worldwide," said Dr. Vagelos.
Previous recipients of the Pro Bono Humanum Award are:
Dr. Mary-Claire King , Dr. Bernard Kouchner , Dr. Anthony Fauci , Dr. Francis S. Collins , Pr. Paul Farmer , President Bill Clinton and Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy , Pr. Barry Bloom and Pr. Jeffrey Sachs , Dr. Sheldon Segal and the Population Council , Dr. P. Roy Vagelos 
About the Galien Foundation
The Galien Foundation fosters, recognizes and rewards excellence in scientific innovation to improve the state of human health. Our vision is to be the catalyst for the development of the next generation of innovative treatments and technologies that will impact the state of medical practice and save lives.
The Foundation oversees and directs activities in the U.S. for the Prix Galien, an international award that recognizes outstanding achievement in improving the human condition through the development of innovative therapies. The Prix Galien was created in 1970 by Roland Mehl in honor of Galien, the father of medical science and modern pharmacology. Worldwide, the Prix Galien is regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical research.
Those interested in attending the October 27th Prix Galien USA Awards ceremony, as well as the Galien Forum, a separate event prior to the dinner awards that features panels debates focused on critical global healthcare issues and challenges, can register here https://register.prix-galien-usa.com/registration/index
For more information visit www.galienfoundation.org
Galien Foundation media contact: Galien Foundation, 212-685-1592
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SOURCE The Galien Foundation