Atlanta VA Health Care System
Dr. Schinazi earns VA's highest honor
Raymond F. Schinazi, Ph.D., senior research career scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC), is the recipient of the 2015 William S. Middleton Award. The award is the VA Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service’s (BLR&D) highest honor for outstanding achievement in biomedical research.
The Atlanta VAMC’s director of research operations, Antonio J. Laracuente, said the award recognizes Dr. Schinazi’s exemplary record of involvement and service to VA and to the biomedical profession, as well as his pioneering work in the development of novel antiviral drugs that now form the backbone of combination regimens used in the treatment of HIV infection.
“The efficacy and safety of these medications have had a profound and transformative impact on the course of the AIDS epidemic, changing HIV infection from a death sentence into a manageable chronic illness,” Laracuente said.
Additionally, Dr. Schinazi’s expertise in virology and medicinal chemistry has led to the development of the drug sofosbuvir, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and is now in wide use as a groundbreaking cure for hepatitis C virus infections. His antiviral drugs have not only benefited the VA patient population immensely but saved millions of lives worldwide.
The Middleton Award was established in 1960 to honor William S. Middleton, M.D., distinguished educator, physician-scientist, and VA’s chief medical director from 1955 to 1963. It is given annually by BLR&D to senior VA biomedical research scientists in recognition of their outstanding contributions in biomedical and bio-behavioral research relevant to the health care of Veterans.