The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has selected Bill and Melinda Gates as recipients of the 2009 Howard K. Schachman Public Service Award, the society's highest nonscientific honor.
The Gates' are being recognized for their outstanding commitment in supporting public health over the past several years, not only in the United States but around the world, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation, established in 2000 through the merger of the William H. Gates Foundation and Gates Learning Foundation, has been a leader in promoting social, economic, and health equality around the globe.
"Through Bill and Melinda's exemplary efforts, more than $9 billion in grants has been made available in the Global Health Program of the Foundation to help develop vaccines, drugs, and other health solutions to some of the deadliest, and unfortunately most neglected, diseases in the world," said Gregory Petsko, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Brandeis University and president of ASBMB. "We hope that this award will show in a small way that ASBMB is extremely grateful and appreciative of their efforts, their humanity and their incredible generosity."
The Schachman Award, established by the ASBMB in 2001 and given annually, recognizes dedication to public service in support of biomedical science. The award is named for Howard K. Schachman, who served as chairman of ASBMB's Public Affairs Advisory Committee for more than ten years (1989 - 2000) and made numerous contributions to biomedical research policy in both governmental and nongovernmental capacities.
The award consists of a permanent keepsake, a $5,000 honorarium, and an opportunity to deliver a lecture at the Society's annual meeting in New Orleans on April 18-22, 2009. Past recipients of this award include U.S. Representative Michael N. Castle (2008); Research!America (2007); the Honorable Sherwood Boehlert (2006), U.S. S
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American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology