Award Ceremony

A team led by American scientist Drew Weissman won the second edition of the BIAL Award in Biomedicine with a work focused on mRNA technology, which is now used in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to prevent COVID-19. 

The Award was delivered in a ceremony held at the Rectory of the University of Lisbon, and was attended by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who chaired the session, the Rector of the University of Lisbon, Luís Ferreira, the Chairman of the BIAL Foundation, Luís Portela, Jury member Menno Witter and award-wining authors Drew Weissman and Michael J. Hogan.

Learn more about the winning work here

Watch the Award ceremony 4 minute video here

Watch the Award ceremony online here


About the Award

The BIAL Award in Biomedicine, with the amount of 300.000 Euros, seeks to recognise a work published in the broad biomedical field within the last ten years, the results of which are considered of exceptional quality and scientific relevance.

Only works nominated by the voting members of the Jury, the members of the Scientific Board of the BIAL Foundation, previous BIAL award winners or Scientific Societies may be considered candidates for the BIAL Award in Biomedicine. The Jury may also invite other scientific institutions to submit nominations. Self-nominations are not allowed.

The BIAL Award in Biomedicine, which has the support of the President of the Portuguese Republic, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities and the European Medical Association, from 2019 onwards started to be attributed in odd years, alternating with the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica.

BIAL Award in Biomedicine 2021 - message from the President of the Jury

“The BIAL Foundation is soliciting nominations for its 2021 Award in Biomedicine. The Award recognizes a single paper of empirical biomedical research of outstanding scientific quality published in a peer-reviewed journal since 2012. The Award consists of a prize of 300,000 Euro.

A maximum of two nominations can be submitted by an organized group of scientists, such as a university, society, academy, or research institute. The nominating panel should not include individuals who contributed to the nominated work.

Nominations are welcomed for works authored by scientists at any stage of their career, and from any country around the world.”

Ralph Adolphs
President of the Jury


The submission process for the BIAL Award in Biomedicine 2021 is now closed.


BIAL Award in Biomedicine 2021


Ralph Adolphs


European Research Council
Geneviève Almouzni
Paola Bovolenta

Council of Rectors of the Portuguese Universities
Maria do Carmo Fonseca
Fátima Carneiro

European Medical Association
Vincenzo Costigliola
Olga Golubnitschaja

Scientific Board of the BIAL Foundation
Hugo Critchley
Menno Witter

Previous winners of the BIAL Award
Peter St. George-Hyslop
Daniel Pipeleers

Scientific Journals
Howard Bauchner - JAMA
Eric Rubin - NEJM

Previous Editions


1st Edition
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