KUALA LUMPUR, The 46th session of King Faisal Prize has acknowledged exceptional accomplishments in the fields of gene therapy for neuromuscular diseases and groundbreaking Ribonucleic acid (RNA) discoveries.

Revolutionary scientist Professor Jerry Mendell was awarded the Medicine Prize for his groundbreaking contributions to the screening, early diagnosis, and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, notably spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Meanwhile, Professor Howard Chang received the Science Prize for unveiling the intrinsic role of long non-coding RNAs in gene regulation and function, a previously overlooked area of study, according to a statement.

Through innovative gene therapy approaches, Professor Mendell, a Director of Gene Therapy Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Curran Peters Chair in Pediatric Research, has revolutionised treatment strategies, offering hope to countless patients worldwide.

On the frontier of molecular biology, physician-scientist
and Professor of Dermatology and Genetics, and Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research at Stanford University, Professor Chang’s elucidation of the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in gene regulation has revolutionised the understanding of cellular processes and disease mechanisms.

Through innovative genome-wide methodologies, Professor Chang has uncovered the intricate interplay between lncRNAs and gene expression, shedding light on fundamental biological processes underlying development, cancer, and ageing.

In addition to honouring advancements in medicine and science, the King Faisal Prize also recognised exemplary contributions in Islamic Studies to Professor Wael Hallaq, while the Japan Muslim Association and Mohammad El Sammak were honoured for their exemplary leadership in serving Islam and humanity.

King Faisal Prize for Arabic Language and Literature for 2024 on the topic of ‘Non-Arab Institutions and their Endeavors to Promote Arabic’ was withheld due to nominated works not el
evating to the criteria of the prize.

Launched by the King Faisal Foundation and granted for the first time since 1979, King Faisal Prize in its five different categories has awarded 295 laureates who have made distinguished contributions to different sciences and causes.

Each prize laureate is endowed with US$200,000; a 24-carat gold medal weighing 200 grammes, and a Certificate inscribed with the Laureate’s name and a summary of their work which qualified them for the prize. (US$1=RM4.77)

Source: BERNAMA News Agency