Kalinga Prize laureate

1999

Armenia
Emil Gabrielian

In recognition of his efforts to promote public awareness of science and its role in the development of Armenian science and medicine

Born in 1931 in Armenia, Emil Gabrielian was a Physician who specialized in pharmacology at the Yerevan Medical Institute. From 1971 to 1975, he was the Rector of the Yerevan Medical Institute and a former Minister of Health (1975 to 1989). During his time as Minister, he developed a more egalitarian form of healthcare for the population; for example, he introduced “The Day of Open Doors” initiative which achieved opening one day a week to general public access to consult leading medical specialists in the country. He also distinguished himself for his efforts to mitigate the trauma endured by the Armenian population after the 1988 earthquake, including the setting up of a transnational system of telemedicine with the support of NASA to treat earthquake victims. Gabrielian’s own personal experience of the earthquake is summarized in his book Collaps (1993), which also contains valuable data on the emotional stress suffered by the population and on the provision of medical and humanitarian aid.

In 1987 he published To be or not to be (in Armenian and Russian), which was a book reflecting on preventive medicine and the effects of tobacco, alcohol and narcotics. Five years after the book’s publication, Emil Gabrielian was named Director-General of the Drug and Medical Technology Agency and Head of the Research Laboratory of Pharmacology of Blood Circulation. He was also President of the Pharmacological Association of Armenia. A prolific writer, with some 300 scientific articles, 100 popular articles and several books to his name, Professor Gabrielian served on the editorial boards of a number of national and international journals. He was also Editor-in-Chief of Physcopharmacology, an international journal that covers the broad topic of elucidating mechanisms by which drugs affect behavior, and was a strong advocate of the popularization of the history and use of folk medicine.

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