This year, the Grindelis Medal was awarded to two scientists: leading researcher at the Centre of Bio-medical Research and Studies, Regīna Renhofa for her contribution to the development of molecular biology and Maija Dambrovafrom the Latvian Organic Synthesis Institute for pharmacological research into Mildronate and her co-operation with PJSC Grindeks.
Awards were also issued to two representatives of academic institutions – Rīga Technical University Professor, Raimonds Valtersfor his contribution to the development of organic chemistry and the preparation of highly qualified specialists and Rīga Stradiņš University Pharmacy Chair Holder, Ruta Vīgestāne for her contribution to the preparation of pharmacists in Latvia.
For her contribution to the development of pharmacy in Latvia, the Medal was awarded to pharmacist, Cēsis Central Pharmacy Manager, Dace Mačuka. Meanwhile, the Head of Grindeks’ per oral medicines plant Inta Bērziņa was honoured for the contribution to the development of PJSC Grindeks.
Traditionally, awards were also issued to foreign specialists and this year the Grindelis Medal was received by Herman Berg, Doctor of Natural Science at the University of Jena for his bio-physical justification of the effectiveness of synthetic anti-cancer preparations and long-term co-operation with Latvian scientists.
“Throughout these 10 years, the Grindelis Medal Awards Council has endeavoured to select people who have done much to promote the development of pharmacy, medicines’ research, have promoted research into the history of this sector and have been active in the education of Latvian pharmacists and medical personnel. And it seems to me that these people are not only Grindel’s followers, but also those of other people who are active both as citizens and professionals. And it’s not for nothing that Professor Grindel’s name is at the heart of our company’s name,” stressed Grindeks Chairman of the Board, Valdis Jākobsons at the awards ceremony.
For her part, Medal recipient Maija Dambrova commented, “I felt extremely honoured when I learned of the award of this medal, because it is the first award in my life that recognises my achievements in the field of science and it will definitely be a stimulus for my future research utilising the bio-science methods available in the 21st century.”
The Grindelis Medal is the highest professional award issued by JSC Grindeks. The company issued this ward for the first time back in 1995and as such a tradition was established – one that preserves and cares for the memory of the first natural scientist, doctor and pharmacist of Latvian origin, David Hieronymus Grindel (1776-1836).
During the past decade, a total of 94 Grindelis medals have been awarded. They have been awarded to 23 pharmacists, 17 chemist-syntheticians, 8 technologists, 7 analysts and quality inspectors, 10 pharmacologists, 4 molecular-biologists, 6 science historians, promoters and organisers,10 pharmaceutical company, institution and organisation heads as well as the University of Latvia, Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum, Rīga’s 1st School of Medicine, Tartu University and the Japanese company, Iskra. The medal has also become important internationally – 9foreign specialists are among its recipients: 3 from Sweden, 2 from the US, Lithuania and Germany and one each from Estonia, Israel, Japan, Denmark, Russia and Belarus.