PARIS, Aug. 26 -- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization issued the following news release:
UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, has announced the laureates of the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences for 2014.
In line with UNESCO's goals to encourage research; mobilize science knowledge and policy for sustainable development and fostering capacity-building in science and innovation, the purpose of this Prize is 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.
The Prize-winners are:
-Professor Hossein Baharvand (Iran), Professor of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology at the Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology and the Head of Department of developmental biology at the University of Science and Culture. In 2003, he established the first mouse and human induced pluripotent stem cells in Iran. His contribution to the development of stem cell resource and translational research has led to numerous applications in regenerative medicine.
-Andre Bationo (Burkina-Faso), Soil scientist and President of Action for Integrated Development. He specializes in soil chemistry, soil fertility, agricultural production, environmental issues and natural resource management. He has contributed to improving agriculture in Africa through his outstanding fundamental and translational research in soil fertility management.
-Instituto de Medicina Tropical von Humboldt (IMT) at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. The Institute was founded in 1968 with the mission of promoting education and research on the most prevalent tropical diseases in Peru. It has performed high quality research and contributed to controlling diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, HIV-AIDS and others.
Each of the three laureates will receive a statuette of the artist Leandro Mbomio Nsue, a diploma and a cheque for $100,000. An Award Ceremony will take place at the International Conference Centre of Sipopo, Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) on 15 September.
A Scientific Round Table will complement the Award Ceremony, touching on three issues related to the life sciences that are of particular concern to the Africa and the world as a whole: management of the current Ebola epidemic, including trans-boundary concerns; the current status of HIV/AIDS on the continent; and the African traditional pharmacopoeia and its potential integration into public health systems. This programme will contribute to UNESCO's objective of building institutional capacities and fostering networking in science.
Recommendations for the Prize-winners were made by an international jury of eminent independent scientists in the life sciences, including:
-Prof. Wagida Anwar, Director of the Ain Shams University Center for Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Genomics, Cairo, Egypt;
-Prof. Indrani Karunasagar, Director of the UNESCO MIRCEN for Marine Biotechnology, Mangalore, India;
-Dr. Constantinos Phanis, Specialist in Biological and Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus;
-Prof. Vincent Titanji, Honorary Dean and Former Vice-Chancellor, Biotechnology Unit, University of Buea, Cameroon; and
-Prof. Pathmanathan Umaharan, Director, Cocoa Research Centre, University of the West Indies, Trinidad.
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