PCRM Recognizes Compassion and Innovation in Awards Ceremony
The Art of Compassion gala honored three individuals for their outstanding contributions to science and PCRM’s mission.
The Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine was presented by Dr. Spock’s widow, Mary Morgan, and musical superstar Moby to David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., of the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Jenkins has provided the scientific basis for an all-out assault on unhealthy eating patterns that take root in childhood. First, he developed the glycemic index, which revolutionized the nutrition world by quickly and easily demonstrating how various foods affect the body, and then he developed the most rapid and powerful dietary method to lower cholesterol: a vegetarian diet incorporating a portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods. Dr. Jenkins is a visionary who insists on an awareness of the broad effects of our diet choices, for ourselves and for generations to come.
Randal Charlton, founder and CEO of Asterand, received the Henry J. Heimlich Award for Innovative Medicine from Dr. Heimlich himself along with House actress Lisa Edelstein. Like Dr. Heimlich, Charlton is the embodiment of innovation and compassion. Charlton recognized that pharmaceutical manufacturers needed to go beyond research with animals and animal tissues, which often led to results that failed to apply to humans. To help researchers make the transition to human-based tissues, Charlton founded Asterand. With exacting quality-control methods for tissue collection at participating hospitals, the company now supplies human tissues for research on Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, and many other conditions. Asterand was named Michigan’s high-technology company of the year in 2005.
Daran Haber, M.D., received from Nanci Alexander and Alec Baldwin the Art of Compassion Award, which recognizes an individual who exemplifies compassion to an extraordinary degree and works to extend this value as broadly as possible. Dr. Haber, a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, N.J., testified before the New Jersey State Assembly Education Committee on behalf of a successful bill guaranteeing a student’s right not to dissect animals and spoke out on behalf of 300 neurologists and neurosurgeons against a class at Ohio State University that inflicts severe damage to the spinal cords of mice and rats. Dr. Haber, a longtime PCRM member, has also appeared in several of PCRM’s television public service announcements, helping to spread the word about diet, health, and cancer prevention.
PCRM also presented certificates to two members of Congress for their contributions to health and compassion. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio was recognized for her ongoing promotion of good nutrition, and Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia was honored for his commitment to the welfare of animals in laboratories.