Dr. King K. Holmes, professor and chair of the UW Department of Global Health, won the prestigious 2013 Canada Gairdner Global Health Award for his work in sexually transmitted diseases, the Gairdner Foundation announced March 20.
The award, valued at CAN$100,000 (about US$97,300) is one of the world's most esteemed prizes for medical research.
Since 1959, of the 312 individuals presented with a Canada Gairdner Award, 80 have gone on to receive a Nobel Prize. Holmes said he would contribute the money to the University of Washington.
Holmes was awarded the prize for his "global scientific contributions to the field of sexually transmitted disease and their effective treatment and prevention." He becomes the 10th UW faculty member to win a Gairdner Award.
The Gairdner Foundation, in citing the award, said that today more than 35 sexually transmitted diseases have been discovered. Holmes and the scientists he mentored are working on approximately 20 of these.
"Dr. Holmes assisted in defining the causes of many major diseases and through leading numerous clinical trials, has paved the way for many standard-of-care therapies used to treat STDs today," the foundation said in a release.
The foundation laid out why Holmes received the award:
"The challenge: Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in many developing countries worldwide. In the early 1960s there were approximately six STDs described in textbooks and very little research was happening in sexually transmitted infections. In fact, there were not many medical centers where clinical care was offered for patients with STDs, who were left with few resources.
The work: Holmes' career has been dedicated to the study of sexually transmitted diseases. His 45 years of cutting-edge research and application of epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and behavioral science to the study of S
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