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Dr. Laura Adriana Albarellos, Universiad de la Américas Puebla, Mexico

PAHEF and PAHO Present the 2011 Manuel Velasco Suárez Award for Excellence in Bioethics

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» Past Winners and Recognition

_dsc03961WASHINGTON, DC (September 27, 2011) – Last night, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) jointly presented the Manuel Velasco Suárez Award for Excellence in Bioethics to Dr. Laura Adriana Albarellos for her proposal, Creating and using a system of gene banks for the establishment of public policies. The award was presented at a special event in Washington, DC, by Dr. Benjamin Caballero, chair of the PAHEF board of directors, and Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, PAHO director. It carries a grant of US$10,000 to support Dr. Albarellos’s proposed work.

Her proposal, presents a legislative framework that operates in compliance with the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights and International Declaration on Human Genetic Data guidelines, both belonging to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and signed and ratified by Mexico. The framework provides for the complete use and operational coordination of genetic data banks to generate products that serve social peace with the government guarantee in order to achieve an efficient and fair health apparatus and the operation of public safety, law enforcement, and justice administration.

Dr. Albarellos is a professor at the University of the Americas in Puebla (Universidad de las Américas Puebla), researcher in the field of genetic databases and bioethics, and special government advisor on health policy in Mexico. Dr. Albarellos has focused her career on bioethics and genomics law. She holds a doctorate in law from the University of Rosario (Universidad de Rosario) in Argentina.

“This award, in addition to the huge joy it represents for me, implies a great responsibility to the Americas. This international recognition in memory of one who was an eminent physician, politician, humanist, and countryman, placed in my hands the possibility to contribute to preventive work in the field of legal scientific research, in which I have been working for the last years.”

Edward L. Kadunc, PAHEF president, remarked, “We are honored to present this award to such an accomplished leader in bioethics. Dr. Albarellos has dedicated her career to studying bioethics and genomics law, which, while controversial, are critical for the medical profession and society to address.”

The Manuel Velasco Suárez Award for Excellence in Bioethics was created in 2002 to promote the study and research of bioethics in the region. The Secretary of Health of Mexico and PAHEF, in cooperation with PAHO, created this award to honor Dr. Manuel Velasco Suárez, a Mexican national, who was a physician, researcher, and scholar. With more than 50 years dedicated to public health, he helped develop many important initiatives and was a founder of the Mexican Academy of Bioethics. The award is one of six in the PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Program, which was established in 1975.

About PAHEF: The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is dedicated to improving health in the Americas through health promotion, education, and training. Founded in 1968, PAHEF is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) public charity that works with the PAHO and other strategic partners in the Americas to mobilize resources and jointly address key health, education, and training priorities. With a deep knowledge of major health concerns and strong relationships with key stakeholders in the region, PAHEF builds successful partnerships and projects that advance health in the Americas. For more information regarding PAHEF, please visit:

About PAHO: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was established in 1902 and is the world’s oldest international public health organization. It works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of the people of the hemisphere and serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information regarding PAHO/WHO, please visit:

About the Awards: The PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health, established in 1975, honor dedicated professionals who led the way in advancing health conditions in the Americas during the last century. The awards stimulate the growth of the next and rising generation of leaders working together to improve health and health care in the Americas. For each award, a jury of distinguished public health professionals is convened to review the nominations and recommend a winning candidate to the board of directors of PAHEF for approval.

Watch a video of the event here

Watch the interview with Dr. Adriana Albarellos here

A Sample of Recent PAHEF Projects in the Region