NEW YORK, Feb. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Galien Foundation announced today the appointment of Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann as Chairman of its Prix Galien Awards Committee of top biomedical scientists, including Nobel laureates in medicine, dedicated to the pursuit and recognition of medical research to improve the state of human health. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann, a member of the Galien Awards Committee since 2016, is currently CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she manages the mission of the largest U.S. private philanthropic institution to give people worldwide the opportunity to lead healthier, more productive lives.
Her appointment is effective immediately, succeeding the current Committee chair, Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, Retired Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc., Chairman of the Board, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. who will continue as a Committee member under Dr. Desmond-Hellmann's leadership.
"It is an honor and a pleasure to succeed Dr. Vagelos, who ensured that the talent of thousands of researchers who do great things for patients in battling the endless trajectory of disease, is recognized and rewarded," said Dr. Desmond-Hellmann after her selection by Committee colleagues. "As Chair, I will endeavor to build on his success, while aligning the Galien Foundation's unique role as the convener of private-sector expertise in innovative drugs, vaccines, medical devices and diagnostics, with our work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve global health at the grassroots – what I call precision public health: getting the right interventions, to the right people, in the right places, to save lives."
In a statement, outgoing Chair Dr. Vagelos cited Dr. Desmond-Hellmann's extraordinary background on the front line of virtually every health challenge of the past three decades. "I also take great pleasure in the Committee's choice because no one understands as well as Sue that the medicines supply chain's toughest challenge is covering that last mile to the patient. Knowledge of access platforms and logistics must go hand-in-hand with great research if the innovations cited by the Foundation are to have practical impact in the real world of unmet medical need. Sue Desmond-Hellmann will keep us focused not just on recognition, but on results that matter for patients too."
In addition to her position as Chair of the Galien Awards Committee, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute of Medicine. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Facebook Inc.
Members of the Prix Galien USA Committee:
Pr Richard AXEL, M.D. Nobel Laureate, Co-director, the Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.
Pr Michael S. BROWN, M.D., Nobel Laureate, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Pr Sue DESMOND-HELLMANN, M.D., M.Ph., Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA.
Pr Laurie GLIMCHER, M.D., CEO and President, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
Pr Joseph GOLDSTEIN, M.D., Nobel Laureate, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Pr Robert S. LANGER, M.D. , David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT.
Pr Cato T. LAURENCIN, M.D., Ph.D., University Professor, University of Connecticut, CT.
Pr Paul A. MARKS, M.D., Laboratory Head of Cell Biology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and President Emeritus, MSKCC.
Dr. Michael ROSENBLATT, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Flagship Ventures, Cambridge, MA.
Pr Bengt SAMUELSSON, M.D., Ph.D., Nobel Laureate, former President of the Karolinska Institute, and former Chairman of the Nobel Foundation.
Pr Marc TESSIER-LAVIGNE, Ph.D., President, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
Pr P. Roy VAGELOS, M.D., Retired Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc., and Chairman of the Board, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., former Chair, Prix Galien USA Committee.
To learn more about the Galien Foundation and its work, visit our web site at www.galienfoundation.org.
SOURCE The Galien Foundation