By THE NATION
There were 76 candidates from 45 countries nominated for final selection this year, combined with those nominated in two previous years.
American psychiatrist and professor emeritus Aaron Temkin Beck and Taiwanese biochemist David T Wong received the award in the medicine category, while Australian paediatrician Chair Professor Ruth F Bishop won the award in the public-health category.
Beck, 90, is expected to send a representative to receive the award. Wong, a developer of fluoxetine-based Prozac, an antidepressant, works in the psychiatry division under Indiana University’s faculty of medicine, while Bishop works for the paediatrics division of Melbourne University.
The award ceremony, to be presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, will be held on January 25 at Chakri Maha Prasart Throne Hall. The recipients or their representatives will make speeches at a ceremony one day before at Siriraj Medical School.
The Prince Mahidol Award was established by His Majesty in honour of his father Prince Songkhla in 1992 to mark his 100th birth anniversary. Normally one winner in medicine and one in the public-health category are awarded, but this year three awards will be given, with prize money increased from US$50,000 (Bt15 million) to $100,000, from this year.