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Monday, July 15th, 2024

Reps. Eshoo, Diaz-Balart honored by Global Health Technologies Coalition

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U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) were honored by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) for their leadership in supporting global health research and development (R&D).

The two were honored at GHTC’s 2019 Innovating for Impact Awards, which recognizes U.S. policymakers and partnerships driving global health innovation.

“I want you to know how much this means to me,” Eshoo said in accepting her award. “But I want to salute all of you….I draw from all of you and what you do….This genius of America will move us forward….When we succeed, when we discover, when we lead, we give hope to the entire world.”

Eshoo, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, was honored with a Congressional Champion Award for her role in establishing the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Diaz-Balart, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, also received the Congressional Champion Award for his work to protect funding for global health programs and his sponsorship of the Global Health Innovation Act.

“Investments in global health R&D are so critical‒so critical‒to make the world not only a healthier place but a safe place for all of us….The US leads the world in global health R&D…and it’s so important that we continue to support programs that are so essential to this field,” Congressman Diaz-Balart said in accepting his award.

Also, GHTC presented the Partnership Award to several individuals, including Ashley Birkett, director of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative at PATH, W. Ripley Ballou, vice president and head of the US R&D Center, and Opokua Ofori-Anyinam, director of clinical development, at GSK Vaccines. They were awarded for their work on developing a malaria vaccine.

The vaccine — RTS,S — is the world’s only vaccine that has demonstrated it can reduce malaria in children. The vaccine is now undergoing pilot implementation in three sub-Saharan African countries and has the potential to substantially contribute to malaria control efforts.

“On behalf of PATH and our partners, we are honored to receive this award and to have contributed to advancing this important new tool to save children’s lives,” Birkett said. “A vaccine for malaria is among many innovations needed to bring an end to this devastating disease, and we proudly stand with our partners in progressing towards a malaria-free world.”

“This vaccine is the result of decades of dedication and collaboration between GSK scientists and our public and nonprofit partners to harness cutting-edge vaccine science to contribute to the fight against malaria,” said Dr. Ofori-Anyinam. “GSK is honored to be recognized alongside our partners as we continue our research to tackle one of the most pressing global health challenges.”

Carrie Wolinetz, acting chief of staff and associate director for science policy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivered the keynote address.