WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Research!America's 17th annual Advocacy Awards will convene leaders from government, academia, industry and health advocacy organizations to honor leading medical and health research advocates of our time. The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.
The 2013 Advocacy Award winners are Diane Rehm, author and host of WAMU 88.5 and NPR's "The Diane Rehm Show;" John F. Crowley, patient advocate and inspirational entrepreneur, chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.; John Mendelsohn, M.D., director, Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and former president at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Mark Rosenberg, M.D., president and CEO, The Task Force for Global Health; and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). A sixth Advocacy Award winner will be named by Research!America's Board of Directors in December 2012.
"This year's awardees embody the spirit of pioneers in advocacy, setting high standards for others to follow in achieving a greater awareness and appreciation for research to improve health," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America."We applaud their leadership and tenacious dedication to informing and engaging the public."
"The tireless efforts of these extraordinary individuals have brought hope to people affected by devastating diseases worldwide," said Harry Johns, Research!America Board member, co-chair of the Advocacy Awards selection committee, and president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association "Their collective achievements have greatly contributed to medical progress and innovation in the U.S. and abroad."
Diane Rehm, author and host of WAMU 88.5 and NPR's "The Diane Rehm Show," will be honored with Research!America's 2013 Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion for emphasizing the value of research and increasing the level of awareness among policy makers and the public of medical conditions such as traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Her show reaches millions of listeners around the world, contributing significantly to public understanding of science and health.
Patient advocate and inspirational entrepreneur John F. Crowley, chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc., will receive Research!America's 2013 Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for his outstanding efforts to accelerate new treatments for Pompe disease and other genetic diseases. His dedication led to the discovery of a treatment for Pompe disease, saving the lives of his children, Megan and Patrick. Crowley's remarkable story and perseverance inspired the movie Extraordinary Measures starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser.
John Mendelsohn, M.D., director of the Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will receive Research!America's 2013 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award for pioneering translational research that has provided the foundation for targeted cancer therapies and for his advocacy for increasing our nation's support for biomedical research. His leadership of MD Anderson during an expansive period of growth, as well as his own groundbreaking discoveries, have transformed cancer treatment, benefiting thousands of patients worldwide.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D., president and CEO of The Task Force for Global Health, will be honored with Research!America's 2013 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership for advancing injury prevention and road safety, reframing the concept that road traffic crashes are not accidents. His advocacy has increased funding for research and programmatic interventions for injury control and improved traffic safety not only in the U.S. but also in many developing countries.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will receive Research!America's 2013 Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award for its role in accelerating stem cell research and the potential development of a new generation of promising therapies for previously untreatable human disorders. CIRM-funded discoveries have laid the foundation for a new industry in California and attracted top-level stem cell researchers to the state. Jonathan Thomas, PhD, JD, and chairman of CIRM's Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, will accept the award on behalf of the organization.
The annual Research!America Advocacy Awards program was established by the Board of Directors in 1996 to honor outstanding advocates for medical, health and scientific research. Recognized individuals and organizations are those whose leadership efforts have been notably effective in advancing our nation's commitment to research.
Research!America is the nation's largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans. Visit www.researchamerica.org.
The Research!America logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10773
CONTACT: Anna Briseno/Research!America 571-482-2737 Suzanne Ffolkes/Research!America 571-482-2710