Award Ceremony

2023 Edition

The Minister of Health, Mr. José Manuel Miñones, headed the award ceremony of the III Edition of the Dr. Juan Abarca International Award for Medical Sciences, ‘ABARCA PRIZE’, granted this year to Professor Douglas A. Melton, co-director of the Institute of Harvard Stem Cells, researcher at the Howard Hughes Institute of Medicine and distinguished researcher at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Douglas Melton’s research focuses on finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. His laboratory studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, with the aim of growing and developing functional insulin-secreting pancreatic cells.

The ceremony brought together personalities from public society, science, research and health management in our country.

Professor Melton stated, “I am deeply grateful for the ABARCA PRIZE award. However, my greatest aspiration is that my children never have to rely on insulin. For any parent, the ability to free their children from an illness is the most significant reward they can hope for.”

Also, Prof. Melton said, “Perhaps the two most important advancements in research are the capability to modify genes and the utilization of stem cells. The combination of both holds the promise of providing treatments for numerous diseases.”

The award recipient also remarked, “We found real difficulties in studying the functional part of getting embryonic stem cells to secrete insulin. We did experiments without success. What saved us in this process was persistence.”.