Sir Gregory receives prestigious Thai award

The Master of Trinity, Sir Gregory Winter, has received the Prince Mahidol Award 2016 in the field of medicine. Established in 1992 by Thailand’s royal family, the award recognises outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide.

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Sir Gregory is best known for developing a new class of antibody-based drugs to treat cancer and auto-immune diseases. This has led to a revolution in the pharmaceutical industry. Today, therapeutic antibodies account for a third of all new treatments, with predicted global sales of nearly US$ 125 billion by 2020.

A graduate of Trinity and Senior Research Fellow before he became Master of Trinity, Sir Gregory carried out his research at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Centre for Protein Engineering at Cambridge.

He realised that if his scientific inventions were to become medicines, he would have to enter the commercial world. Consequently, Sir Gregory founded three Cambridge biotech companies: Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by AstraZeneca), Domantis (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline) and Bicycle Therapeutics.

Sir Gregory said he was honoured to receive the Prince Mahidol Award, which will be bestowed by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at a ceremony in Bangkok on 31 January 2017.

I am honoured and delighted by this award which I hope will inspire others to think creatively in order to overcome the obstacles that we all encounter in moving from the research to the development stage.

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David Cobley’s portrait of Sir Gregory inspired by a model polypeptide chain. ‘The strands form a framework with three loops at the top, which antibodies use to lock onto their targets, such as viruses or bacteria,’ Sir Gregory he explained.

The Prince Mahidol Award was established in honour of the late Prince Mahidol of Songkla, the father of his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is regarded as the father of modern medicine and public health in Thailand.

Among Sir Gregory’s other awards are the Prix Louis Jeantet de Medecine in 1989, the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine (Molecular Immunology) in 1995, the Biochemical Analysis Prize of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry in 1995, the Cancer Research Institute William B. Coley Award in 1999, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 2011, and the Gairdner Prize in March 2013.

For his work with industry, he received the National Biotechnology Ventures Award (US) in 2004 and the BioIndustry Association Award (UK) in 2008.

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