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Ronald Levy, MD, wins 2009 King Faisal Prize for Medicine

Ronald Levy, MD
Ronald Levy, MD

Ronald Levy, MD, professor of medicine, chief of oncology and associate director of translational science at the Stanford Cancer Center, has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine. This year’s winners were announced on Jan. 26, 2009, by Prince Khalid Afasisal of Saudi Arabia, the director of the King Faisal Foundation.

Levy was honored for his work in molecular targeted therapy. His accomplishments are described in an announcement posted on the King Faisal Foundation website: “Almost 30 years ago he developed antibodies that could distinguish between malignant and benign tumor cells. This created a tool for diagnosis and therapy.

"In his more recent work Professor Levy has used the patient’s immune system to mount immune responses against the patient’s own cancer cells. The ability of a patient to elicit immune responses against his/her own tumor cells by vaccinating the patient against the malignancy is likely to become a more effective way for longer lasting and more efficient therapy.”

Upon hearing that he had been honored with the award, Levy said, “I’m surprised and amazed. A remarkable collection of medical scientists have received this award in the past, including our own Norman Shumway, MD; Steven Chu, MD; and Mark Davis, MD. This is truly impressive company.”

The King Faisal Foundation was established in 1976. The King Faisal International award is widely known as one of the world's most esteemed awards. Nominations for the prizes are accepted from international institutions and organizations. The selection process is governed solely by merit making the King Faisal International Prize one of the most honored awards given to dedicated individuals and scientists whose contributions may lead to significant medical breakthroughs.

Each of the five category prize winners will receive a certificate, hand written in Diwani calligraphy, summarizing the laureate's work; a commemorative 24-carat, 200-gram gold medal, uniquely cast for each prize; and a cash endowment of $200,000. The prizes are awarded during a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the King of Saudi Arabia.

(Posted 02/29/09)

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