Philanthropy is Key, Just Ask Bill Gates

Everyone who is familiar with Asia Rising understands our Host Vikrom Kromadit’s deep beliefs in the value of philanthropy. He naturally believes in the value of helping others.  This is of course a sentiment shared by the world’s richest man.

Bill and Melinda Gates win Lasker Award for public service

Microsoft founder and philanthopist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda talk to villagers in India's Bihar state on March 23, 2011.

Bill and Melinda Gates were among the winners of the prestigious Lasker Awards Monday, bestowed each year for advances in medicine.

The philanthropic couple were honored for “leading a historic transformation in the way we view the globe’s most pressing health concerns and improving the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable,” the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation said in a statement.

Other recipients include Richard Scheller and Thomas Sudhof for discoveries linked to rapid neurotransmitter release, a process key to the way our brain cells communicate, according to the foundation.

“These advances have provided a molecular framework for understanding some of the most devastating disorders that afflict humans as well as normal functions such as learning and memory,” it said on its website.

Scheller, a 59-year-old American, works for Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Sudhof, 57, of Stanford University’s School of Medicine, hails from Germany.

The foundation also honored Graeme Clark, a 78-year-old emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia; Austrian Ingeborg Hochmair, 60, founder and CEO of MED-EL; and American Blake Wilson of Duke University for developing a modern cochlear implant that allows the severely deaf to hear.

“The Lasker Awards showcase the power of biomedical research to advance science, save lives, and avert suffering the world over,” said Alfred Sommer, chair of the foundation’s board of directors.

“This year’s awards celebrate that tradition by honoring fundamental discoveries about brain function, the creation of an innovative technology that confers hearing to profoundly deaf people, and the powerful impact of results-driven philanthropy that has enhanced the quality of life for millions around the globe.”