Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize Awarded To Two Scientists And One Research Institution For Work In Life Sciences, Disease Control And Agriculture

Award ceremony will bring scientists together to address issues affecting Africa and the current Ebola epidemic

The 2014 International UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize for Research in Life Sciences has been awarded to two scientists and one research institution in recognition of their efforts to improve the quality of human life.

The Prize recipients are Professor Hossein Baharvand, from Iran, a Specialist in Stem Cells and Developmental Biology at the Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology and the Head of Department of Developmental Biology at Iran’s University of Science and Culture, whose stem cell research has led numerous applications in regenerative medicine; Andre Bationo, from Burkina-Faso, a specialist in soil chemistry whose work has led to improved techniques for agricultural production in Africa; and the Instituto de Medicina Tropical von Humboldt (IMT) at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia of Peru. The Institute was founded in 1968 with the mission of promoting education and research on the most prevalent tropical diseases in Peru. From its founding, it has performed high quality research that has contributed to controlling diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, HIV-AIDS and others.

During the announcement, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) highlighted the Prize’s objective of mobilizing science knowledge and policy for sustainable development and fostering capacity-building in science and innovation. This is the second year the prize has been awarded. It was established by the government of Equatorial Guinea to reward projects and activities of individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations for scientific research in the life sciences, with a view to improving the quality of human life. UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova, announced the recipients on August 26 and said they will be presented next month in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Next month in Equatorial Guinea, a scientific round table will address issues of particular concern to Africa and the world as a whole, including the management of the current Ebola epidemic, the African traditional pharmacopoeia and its potential integration into public health systems among other issues.