BioAsia 2024 confers the Genome Valley Excellence Award

Hyderabad, 1  February, 2024: The 21st edition of BioAsia – the marquee healthcare and Life Sciences event, organized by the Government of Telangana, has announced that the coveted Genome Valley Excellence Award for the year 2024 will be conferred upon Noble Prize winning Paediatrician and Professor Gregg L. Semenza.

International Advisory Board of BioAsia consisting of personalities of national and international reputation including the likes of Dr. Ajit Shetty (Corporate Vice President Global Operations, Johnson & Johnson USA (retd.) and Chairman Emeritus, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Belgium); Dr. Makarand Jawadekar, (Former Director, Pfizer, US); Dr. Robert Naismith, (Former Chairman, JUJAMA, US), among others have made the final selection of the awardee, in light of his prominent ground-breaking discovery in unveiling the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1 protein), a pivotal discovery controlling gene expression in response to fluctuations in oxygen availability.

Professor L. Semenza is currently the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA. His pioneering work in the field is critical in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, anemia, blinding eye diseases, and cardiovascular disorders.

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Professor L.Semenza had discovered how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen availability. During the 1990s. he identified a molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen. The discoveries may lead to new treatments of anemia, cancer, and many other diseases. He received the eminent noble prize in Physiology or Medicine in the year 2019 for the discovery on “how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”.

Speaking on the announcement of the 2023 Genome Valley Excellence Award, Mr. D Sridhar Babu, Hon’ble Minister for Industries and IT, Government of Telangana said, “I am thrilled that the award committee has decided to confer the prestigious Genome Valley Excellence Award upon Professor Gregg L. Semenza during the 2024 BioAsia. His groundbreaking discovery in unravelling the scientific mysteries stands as a testament to his unwavering dedication to scientific excellence and innovation. I commend Professor Semenza for his outstanding contributions to the field of molecular biology and extend my best wishes for continued success in his future endeavors. His work serves as an inspiration to aspiring scientists and underscores the transformative power of knowledge in shaping a better tomorrow for humanity. I look forward to welcoming him in Hyderabad and I am sure his visit will energize our scientific community to further Hyderabad’s contribution to biomedical innovation.”

“The Genome Valley Excellence Award has achieved the stature of most eminent awards in the field of life sciences. Year on year distinguished personalities have been presented with this coveted honour. Professor Gregg L. Semenza’s pioneering research has not only deepened our understanding of the intricate mechanisms governing gene expression but also holds immense promise in advancing medical science and improving healthcare outcomes. BioAsia feels honored to host such a renowned personality.” said Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS Principal Secretary (I&C), Government of Telangana.

“The significance of the Genome Valley Excellence Award lies not only in honoring outstanding individuals like Professor Gregg L. Semenza but also in highlighting the collective efforts of the lifesciences community towards advancing scientific knowledge and improving human health. Over the years, the Genome Valley Excellence Award has garnered prominence as a coveted recognition within the lifesciences fraternity and has become synonymous with groundbreaking innovation, cutting-edge research, and transformative impact, inspiring individuals and organizations to strive for excellence in their pursuit of scientific advancement. As we celebrate the remarkable contributions of Professor Semenza and other luminaries honored with the Genome Valley Excellence Award, BioAsia reaffirm its commitment to recognize the efforts of incredible personalities addressing global health challenges and create a better future for humanity.,” said Mr. Shakthi M. Nagappan, CEO, BioAsia and Director of Lifesciences and Pharma, Government of Telangana.

Some of the past Genome Valley Excellence Award winners include Nobel laureates such as Dr. Kurt Wuthrich, Ada Yonath, Harald zur Hausen, Barry Marshall, Martin J Evans, Food Laureates, Lasker Awardees, and eminent leaders like CEO of Novartis Mr. Vas Narasimhan, Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy and CAR-T cell therapy pioneer, Dr. Carl June, CEO of GAVI Dr. Seth Berkley, among others. Last year, the Genome Valley Excellence award was presented to Dr. Drew Weissman, professor at the Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, for his breakthrough pioneering research and development of effective mRNA COVID-19 vaccine that has helped save billions of lives globally. In 2021, it was awarded to Padma Bhushan awardees Dr. Krishna Ella and Mrs. Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech International Ltd. for the development and commercialisation of vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. In 2022, it was awarded to Prof. Robert S. Langer, in light of his pioneering research that has led to the development of the first commercial mRNA vaccines used for variety of infectious diseases.

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