• Award recognises Exceptional Research in Biomedicine
    Professor Ralph Adolphs
  • Dr Drew Weissman, lead and representative of the team award winners in 2021 for their work: “Zika virus protection by a single low-dose nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccination”. Published in Nature.

News & Views

Award recognises Exceptional Research in Biomedicine

Apr 29 2023

The BIAL Foundation has announced the 3rd BIAL Award in Biomedicine open, with nominations accepted until 30th June 2023. The international award carries a €300,000 prize in recognition for work of a broad biomedical nature with exceptional quality and scientific relevance published in the last 10 years.

The winner will be chosen by an independent and international Jury chaired by Ralph Adolphs, Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Biology at Caltech (California Institute of Technology). In addition to the president, the Panel includes 12 members appointed by the European Research Council, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities, the European Medical Association, the Scientific Board of the BIAL Foundation, previous winners of the BIAL Award and editors of the British Medical Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Candidates for this award may be nominated by members of the Jury, members of the Scientific Board of the BIAL Foundation, previous BIAL Award winners, Scientific Societies, Boards or Deans of Medical Faculties, Heads of leading research institutes and Boards or Heads of prestigious Academies. Highly qualified researchers may also nominate works, though self-nominations will not be accepted.

Ralph Adolphs, President of the Jury, expressed his high expectations for this new edition: "Given the broad nature of this award, we expect to receive nominations from organised groups of scientists with a wide range of affiliations, including in academia, scientific societies and research institutes. We hope to receive works of high quality and relevance from scientists from any country around the world and at any stage of their career."

For Luís Portela, Chairman of the BIAL Foundation, "this award aims to mobilise the scientific community to share, through nominations, relevant work by researchers from all over the world, with a view to recognising the most important scientific discoveries in the biomedical field."

In the last edition in 2021, this award distinguished an article published in Nature journal in 2017 focused on the mRNA technology used in Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's Covid-19 vaccines. The winning team was led by the American scientist Drew Weissman and included, at the time of the article’s publication, 36 co-authors from the Universities of Pennsylvania, Duke and Kansas State (USA), Harvard Medical School (USA), National Institutes of Health (USA), Bioqual Inc. (USA), Acuitas Therapeutics (Canada), and BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals (Germany).

Created in 1994 the BIAL Foundation aims to foster the scientific study of human beings in different areas and the award in Biomedicine is one of the biggest European awards in this field. The BIAL Award in Biomedicine takes place biannually, alternating with the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica. It has the patronage of the President of the Portuguese Republic, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities and the European Medical Association.

Further details of the Regulation and Nomination Form for the BIAL Award in Biomedicine 2023 can be found on the link below.

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