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Raymond F. Schinazi earns VA's highest honor for biomedical research

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Holly Korschun

Raymond F. Schinazi, PhD, senior research career scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC), is the recipient of the 2015 William S. Middleton Award. The award is the VA Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service’s (BLR&D) highest honor for outstanding achievement in biomedical research. Schinazi will be recognized at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. next spring.

The award recognizes Schinazi’s exemplary record of involvement and service to VA and to the biomedical profession, as well as his pioneering work in the development of novel antiviral drugs that led to highly effective combination regimens used broadly in the treatment of HIV infection.

"We join the VA in celebrating Ray’s achievements, which have bettered and prolonged the lives of so many around the globe," says Christian P. Larsen, MD, DPhil, dean, Emory University School of Medicine.

"The efficacy and safety of these medications have had a profound and transformative impact on the course of the AIDS epidemic, changing HIV infection from a death sentence into a manageable chronic illness," says Antonio J. Laracuente, VAMC director of research operations.

Schinazi also helped lay the groundwork for the development of sofosbuvir, approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating hepatitis C virus infections.

The Middleton Award was established in 1960 to honor William S. Middleton, MD, distinguished educator, physician-scientist, and VA’s chief medical director from 1955 to 1963. It is given annually by BLR&D to senior VA biomedical research scientists in recognition of their outstanding contributions in biomedical and bio-behavioral research relevant to the health care of veterans.

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