Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards

“The primary force in the present determining the future is the passion for scientific research.”
                                                                                              Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı

Since 1959, the Eczacıbaşı Group has supported and rewarded scientific research through its medical awards, which it renamed the “Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards” in 2013 in remembrance of the Eczacıbaşı Group’s founder, who passed away 20 years earlier. On 13 October 2017, the winners of  “Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards” were announced at a ceremony at Dokuz Eylül University, in İzmir, Turkey.

On the 58th anniversary of the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards to recognize and reward high-caliber medical research in Turkey, the Eczacıbaşı Group presented a Medical Award of Honor to Prof. Dr. Olcay Neyzi for her tremendous contribution to the field of pediatrics both in Turkey and worldwide. It also presented a Medical Science Award to Prof. Dr. Şermin Genç, a Medical Incentive Award to Doç. Dr. Özgür Şahin, a Medical Research Award to Prof. Dr. A. Süha Yalçın and Medical Student Project Awards to Barış Boyraz and İbrahim Halil Gürçınar.

At the award ceremony, Eczacıbaşı Group Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı expressed his delight that the 2017 Medical Awards coincided with the Eczacıbaşı Group's 75th anniversary and added, "For three quarters of a century, the unchanging principle of our approach to social responsibility has been contribution to the development of culture, art, sports, science and education in Turkey. I wholeheartedly congratulate the scientists and young students who have been found worthy of a 2017 Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Award." 

Turkish Undersecretary of Health Prof. Dr. Eyüp Gümüş, who attended the ceremony, delivered a speech in which he referred to the transformation underway in Turkey's pharmaceutical industry. Harvesting the fruits of what he called a "second major transformation" in the industry required more than government willpower, he asserted, it needed determined investors and well-trained, highly qualified scientists as well. "In this regard, I believe incentives for scientists are in every respect very important, and I am happy to be a part of this award tradition, which has a history of almost 60 years and is named after Dr. Nejat Ferit Eczacıbaşı, one of the founders of Turkey's pharmaceutical industry. 

Prof. Dr. Emin Kansu, Chairman of the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards Jury, pointed out that fully 177 research projects had to date received funding from the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards Fund and added, "We believe that this support makes a very important contribution to our scientific community." Prof. Kansu stressed that the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards were an important incentive not only for scientists, but also young researchers and successful medical students wishing to gain valuable research experience.
Award winners

The 2017 Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Award winners determined by the jury are as follows: Prof. Dr. Şermin Genç from the International Biomedical and Genome Institute of Dokuz Eylül University (Medical Science Award), Ass. Prof. Dr. Özgür Şahin from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Bilkent University (Medical Incentive Award), and Prof. Dr. A. Süha Yalçın from the Department of Medical Biochemistry at Marmara University's Faculty of Medicine (Medical Research Award). Two students, Barış Boyraz from Hacettepe University's Faculty of Medicine and İbrahim Halil Gürçınar from Celal Bayar University's Faculty of Medicine, received Medical Student Project Awards. 

58 years of "contributing to science and rewarding success" 

Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı established the awards and research grants in 1959 with the support of prominent members of Turkey's medical faculties, namely Ord. Prof. Dr. Ekrem Şerif Egeli, Ord. Prof. Dr. Arif İsmet Çetingil, Ord. Prof. Dr. Muhiddin Erel, Prof. Dr. Reşat Garan, Prof. Dr. Sabih Oktay, Prof. Dr. Behiç Onul, Prof. Dr. Zafer Paykoç, and Prof. Dr. Necmeddin Polvan, in order to contribute to the development of the medical and pharmaceutical sciences in Turkey.  
In 2017, the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards Jury comprised Prof. Dr. Emin Kansu, Prof. Dr. Erdal Akalın, Prof. Dr. Atıf Akdaş, Prof. Dr. İsmail Hakkı Ayhan, Prof. Dr. Selim Badur, Prof. Dr. Turgay Dalkara, Prof. Dr. Şevket Ruacan and Prof. Dr. Tansu Salman. After many years of invaluable service, seven of the Board's eight members are now retiring. The new Board will be chaired by the remaining member, Prof. Dr. Turgay Dalkara, who has accepted the responsibilities of long-time chairman Prof. Dr. Emin Kansu. Dr. Suphi Ayvaz, General Secretary of the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards Fund, is also retiring from his post.

In 2002, the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Medical Awards Fund decided to honor Turkish physicians who were globally recognized for their contributions to the profession with a special award, the Eczacıbaşı Medical Award of Honor. The first of these awards was presented to Prof. Dr. Münci Kalayoğlu in 2002. Fifteen years later, Prof. Dr. Olcay Neyzi has become the second person to receive this distinction.