Since its establishment in France in 1970, the Prix Galien has been introduced across Europe and North America and is now the most prestigious award of its kind in 16 countries. The first countries other than France to create their own Galien award were Belgium and Luxemburg in 1982, followed in 1984 by Germany, and in 1985 by the Netherlands. In 1988 the United Kingdom created a Galien award, followed in 1989 by Italy, in 1990 by Spain, in 1992 by Portugal, in 1993 by Canada, in 2001 by Switzerland, and in 2007 by the United States. In 2012, Poland, Israel, and Greece introduced Prix Galien, and Russia and Morocco in 2013. China and Brazil are in the process of establishing Prix Galien.
We draw our name and mission from Galen (Galien in French) of Pergamum (131-201 A.D.), who is considered to be the forefather of modern medicine and pharmacology. As an anatomist, physiologist, clinician, and researcher, his work formed the basis of a school of thought known as “Galenism”, which dominated medicine until the Renaissance. In fact, his works served as primary medical references for nearly two centuries. Galen completed over five hundred learned works addressing anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical theory and practice, and many forms of therapy. He traveled throughout the world, studying local plants and remedies, eventually describing 473 original drugs and many substances of mineral and vegetable origin. Importantly, Galen was the first to codify the art of preparing active drugs using multiple ingredients. His declaration that the primary aim of medicine was patient care formed the very cornerstone of modern pharmacy. To quote Jean-Pierre Changeux, “Galen first showed that our mind was in the brain, not in our hearts.” This was the beginning of experimental medicine.
Albert de Jaeger (1908 – 1992), a recipient of the Premier Grand Prix de Rome architectural prize, designed the Prix Galien medal. He designed the Weizsman Institute medal, and medals for prominent figures such as Pope Pius XII (in 1937 at the Villa Medicis) and Pope Jean-Paul I, Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, distinguished military leaders including Marshals Leclerc, Koenig, Montgomery, Marshall and Joukov; artists, literary figures and prominent personalities such as Sacha Guitry, Marcel Proust, Henri de Montherlant, Paul Haris, several Nobel Prize laureates, the Empress of Iran SA Farah Diba, Princess Grace of Monaco, and many more. Albert de Jaeger also created many outstanding monuments in France and throughout the world.
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