Two scientists working in HIV/AIDS fields are among seven winners of this year’s Canada Gairdner Wightman Awards, nicknamed the “baby Nobels” because many of the recipients go on to earn a Nobel Prize for their work in biomedical research, reports The Canadian Press.
Winners get a $100,000 check along with the awards, which will be presented October 27.
Anthony Fauci, MD, has been the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) since 1984, which coincides with the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. He received the John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, an honor that goes to a person responsible for scientific work that had a positive influence on the health of the developing world.
Specifically, Fauci is honored for his work in developing combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy and helping set up the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has prevented millions of HIV-related deaths in Africa.
Dr. Frank Plummer, received the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, which goes to a Canadian who has shown outstanding leadership in medicine and medicine science. His research with sex workers in Africa throughout the 1980s led to understandings about HIV transmission and possible vaccines.