NEW CANAAN, CT—The Sabin Vaccine Institute will celebrate a Salute to Life-Saving Discoveries during its benefit dinner at The Pierre Hotel in New York City May 12. The evening will feature the presentation of awards to Nobel laureate James D. Watson, PhD, and to Howard Pien, president and CEO of Chiron Corporation. “We promise an enlightening evening of celebration dedicated to the landmark discoveries that have so greatly enhanced our understanding of biological science,” said Sabin chairman H.R. Shepherd. “Dr. Watson’s work has opened wide the fields of biological science. Products and discoveries from our colleagues at Chiron Corporation have protected millions from life-threatening illnesses, and the company underlines this impact with a generous spirit of corporate philanthropy, most notably demonstrated by its donations of polio vaccine to support global eradication efforts.”
The awards program is a yearly tradition for the Institute and extols the contributions made by scientists, philanthropists, and humanitarians, who share in some aspect of the goals of advancing vaccine science for the benefit of humanity. The master of ceremonies will be CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer. One of the nation’s most respected journalists, Schieffer is the anchor and moderator of “Face the Nation,” CBS News’ Sunday public affairs broadcast, and is a member of the Broadcasting/Cable Hall of Fame.
James D. Watson, who will receive the Sabin Humanitarian Award, is renowned for his discovery of the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), for which he shared with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The double helix is an elegant concept central to the emerging field of molecular biology: understanding the structure of a molecule can give clues about how it functions. In 1968, Dr. Watson became Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, where he was recently appointed Chancellor.
Chiron Corporation, which will be recognized with the Global Corporate Philanthropy Award, addresses human suffering with more than 50 diverse products to detect, prevent and treat disease worldwide. The company has global businesses in Blood Testing, Vaccines and BioPharmaceuticals. Mr. Howard Pien, the company’s president and chief executive officer, will be on hand to accept the award on behalf of the company. In addition to the development of life-saving and life-enhancing products, Chiron has worked to improve the quality of human life around the world through company-sponsored programs and philanthropy and by encouraging employee volunteer efforts. Chiron Vaccines has donated 30 million doses of polio vaccine to the polio Global Eradication Initiative, spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF, for international vaccination campaigns.
The Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute’s mission is to prevent disease by advancing development of new vaccines and increasing immunization rates. Founded in 1993, the Institute is headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut. The Institute pursues Albert Sabin’s vision of a world protected from disease by vaccines.
About James Watson, PhD
Born in Chicago in 1928, Dr. Watson received a B.S. in 1947 from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in 1950 from Indiana University, both in zoology. Following a National Research Fellowship in Copenhagen and a National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, he spent two years at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1955 and became professor in 1961, resigning in 1976 to become full-time director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1988 he was also appointed associate director for Human Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Watson has been recognized with numerous awards, including the John J. Carry Gold Medal of the National Academy of Sciences in 1971, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, the National Medal of Science in December 1997, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on July 4, 2000, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal awarded by the American Philosophical Society. Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed him an honorary Knight of the British Empire on January 1, 2002. His memberships include the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Society of Biological Chemists, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Philosophical Society. He holds honorary affiliations with the Danish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Clare College (Cambridge University), Athenaeum (London), the Royal Society (London), and the Academy of Sciences, USSR, and he has received honorary degrees from 14 universities. Apart from his many scientific papers, he is the author of books, including The Double Helix; The DNA Story; Molecular Biology of the Gene; Molecular Biology of the Cell; Recombinant DNA: A Short Course; DNA: The Secret of Life; A Passion for DNA; and. and his 2003 memoir, Genes, Girls and Gamow.
About Chiron and President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Pien
Through its global Blood Testing, Vaccines and BioPharmaceuticals businesses, Chiron Corporation addresses human suffering with more than 50 diverse products to detect, prevent and treat disease worldwide. The company's consistent success comes from its pioneering science, skill in delivering innovations in biotechnology and disciplined business approach. Chiron believes that science has the power to improve people's lives and harnesses that power to transform public health.
This year, Chiron Vaccines celebrates 100 years of advancing medicine with the anniversary of two founding companies. In 1904, Emil von Behring and Achille Sclavo independently started companies in Germany and Italy, respectively, dedicated to the research, development and manufacture of vaccines to protect humanity from infectious disease. As the fifth-largest vaccine manufacturer in the world, Chiron remains dedicated to the legacies of von Behring and Sclavo to prevent disease and develop new vaccines to improve human health globally.
Mr. Howard Pien was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Chiron Corporation in April 2003. He is also a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Pien joined Chiron from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he assumed the role of President, Pharmaceuticals International, in January of 2001. He was also a member of GSK’s Corporate Executive Team. Previously, Mr. Pien held the position of President, Pharmaceuticals, SmithKline Beecham, where he had responsibility for the commercial operations of the company's worldwide Pharmaceuticals business. Before assuming that role in May 1998, he held key positions in SmithKline Beecham's Pharmaceuticals business in the United States, the United Kingdom and North Asia. Prior to joining SmithKline Beecham in 1991, Mr. Pien worked six years for Abbott Laboratories and five years for Merck, with assignments in sales, market research, licensing and product management.