Prestigious prize for Peter Carmeliet
Professor Peter Carmeliet has won the international Heineken Prize for Medicine, the first time it has gone to a Belgian. He received the award for his pioneering research into the formation of blood vessels.
The 59-year-old Belgian is professor at the KU Leuven, and the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). His research into blood vessels is instrumental in the fight against cancer and other diseases. Blood vessels play an important role in various diseases. For example, during a heart attack, there is a shortage of blood vessels, while too many are formed in certain eye diseases, inflammations and cancer. The blood vessels in a cancerous tumour generally do not function properly, whereby they can leak and lead to metastases. Peter Carmeliet is now looking for a way to repair these blood vessels, so that the cancer cells are less likely to metastasise.
The Heineken Prize for Medicine is one of the most prestigious awards after the Nobel Prize, and has been awarded every two years since 1989. Recipients also receive 200,000 US dollars.