Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical advisor, won one of the three Dan David Prizes, Israeli awards that each grant $1 million ( £720,440, AU$1.29 million) to recipients. The international awards are given in the categories Past, Present and Future, with Fauci winning the Present award, given for "achievements that shape and enrich society today."
"The Dan David Prize recognizes and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms," the official website for the award says. "It aims to promote scientific, technological and humanistic achievements that advance and improve our lives and our knowledge of the world."
Fauci was praised for "courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis.
"In addition to traditional vaccine methods, he and his team recognized the value of novel vaccine approaches, such as mRNA vaccines, and quickly moved them into clinical development," the Dan David Foundation said on its site. "Several of these vaccines have gained approval and are now being widely distributed to inoculate millions of people worldwide against the coronavirus."
Fauci was the only individual winner, with the other category awards going to three winners each. Professors Alison Bashford, Katharine Park and Keith Wailoo were honored in the Past category. Professor Zelig Eshhar, Dr. Carl June and Dr. Steven Rosenberg, won the Future award. Past winners include former US Vice President Al Gore, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and author Margaret Atwood.
The Dan David Prize laureates donate 10% of their prize money to postgraduate students in their respective fields.