Raymond F. Schinazi, Ph.D., senior research career scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, is the recipient of the 2015 William S. Middleton Award. The award is the VA Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service’s highest honor for outstanding achievement in biomedical research.
The Atlanta medical center’s director of research operations, Antonio J. Laracuente, said 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 now form the backbone of combination regimens used in the treatment of HIV infection.
“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,” Laracuente said.
Raymond F. Schinazi, Ph.D., senior research career scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, is the recipient of the 2015 William S. Middleton Award. Photo by Jaime Robards, Emory University School of Medicine
Additionally, Schinazi’s expertise in virology and medicinal chemistry has led to the development of the drug sofosbuvir, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and is now in wide use as a groundbreaking cure for hepatitis C virus infections. His antiviral drugs have not only benefited the VA patient population immensely but saved millions of lives worldwide.
The Middleton Award was established in 1960 to honor William S. Middleton, M.D., 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.
This article was submitted by the Atlanta VA Medical Center, a Joint Commission and Magnet®-designated medical facility. The main medical center is a level 1A tertiary care facility providing patient-centered healthcare via an array of comprehensive medical, surgical, geriatric specialty services, as well as state-of–the-art diagnostic testing throughout 14 sites of care. With 445 inpatient beds, including a 120-bed Community Living Center, a 40-bed domiciliary, and a 12-bed Residential Treatment Program, the Atlanta VAMC is uniquely positioned to serve the healthcare needs of more than 130,000 enrolled Veterans living in 50 counties across northeast Georgia. The medical center, also a teaching hospital, provides hands-on and state-of-the-art technology, education and research to residents in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine.