Roy Vagelos Pro Bono Humanum award

The annual Pro Bono Humanum Award recognizes an individual’s outstanding efforts to improving the human condition through the application of pharmaceutical science to problems of developing or underserved populations worldwide. This special award has been presented every year by the Galien Foundation’s President Emeritus Elie Wiesel, in the presence of the Prix Galien USA Committee. On July 2, 2016, Elie Wiesel passed away. The Galien Foundation, and the world, mourns the loss of–in the words of President Obama–this “great moral voice of our time.”

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Past Pro Bono Humanum Award winners include:


Jimmy Carter

Former U.S. President & Co-Founder, The Carter Center

For playing a leadership role in the elimination of river blindness in four of the six Latin American countries where it was endemic and halting the disease’s transmission in several locations in Africa where more than 99 percent of the global cases exist.


Paula S. Apsell

Executive Producer, PBS NOVA series & Director, Science Unit, WGBH

For turning great science into a human story, showing that scientific literacy is society’s first line of defense against the destructive forces of fear and ignorance that challenge further progress in human health.


Mary-Claire King

Professor, Genome Sciences and Medical Genetics, University of Washington

In recognition of her work in transforming the application of human genetics to medicine through identification of the first gene, BRCA1, responsible for inherited susceptibility to breast cancer. And for pioneering the application of genetic sequencing in forensics to identify victims of human rights abuse.


Bernard Kouchner

Co-Founder, Doctors Without Border & Former French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

For his role in the creation of Doctors Without Borders and for his fieldwork, which has nurtured and develop the modern concept of the Non-Governmental Organization.


Francis Collins

Director, U.S. National Institutes of Health

For his founding leadership of the Human Genome Project, which laid the groundwork for the genomics revolution and its impact on global medicines innovation.


Anthoy Fauci

Director, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

For his paramount contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune mediated and infectious diseases.


Paul Farmer

Chief Strategist and Co-Founder, Partners In Health

For his humanitarian work in Haiti and throughout the world, including advancing the fight against infectious diseases, including AIDS and tuberculosis.


Bill Clinton and Philippe Douste-Blazy

Founder, Clinton Foundation and Former U.S. President; Chairman, UNITAID

In recognition of their achievements in providing treatment and increasing access to medicines for underserved populations through the UNITAID and Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) partnership.


Barry Bloom and Jeffrey Sachs

Professor of Public Health, Harvard University; Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University

For applying science and economics to global health problems in ways that have changed the lives of the world’s most impoverished people.


Sheldon Segal and the Population Council of New York

Former Chairman, Population Council

For their science-based, global effort in support of reproductive planning and family health.


Roy Vagelos

Chairman, Regeneron & Former CEO, Merck & Co.

For the River Blindness Program and his historic decision to donate the drug Mectizan to more than 530 million people in 34 countries to treat and prevent river blindness “as much as necessary for as long as necessary.”