YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Vice-president of the Armenian Academy of Sciences Emil Gabrielian–who is also head of a health ministry-affiliated agency for medicine and medical technologies–has become the first Armenian scientist elected as a foreign correspondent member of the French Pharmaceutical Academy.
Scientists from Japan–Switzerland–Canada–Italy and Romania are also elected members of the French Academy.
Speaking to Armenpress–Gabrielian said his membership in the French Academy will help boost French-Armenian cooperation in the area of medicines.
A physician specializing in pharmacology–Professor Gabrielian (born 1931) is a former Rector of Yerevan Medical Institute (1971-1975) and former Minister of Health (1975-1989). During his time as Minister–he developed a more egalitarian form of healthcare for the population–including The day of Open Doors–one day in each week when the general public was able to consult leading medical specialists. He also distinguished himself for his efforts to mitigate the trauma endured by the Armenian population after the 1988 earthquake–including the setting up of a transnational system of telemedicine with the support of NASA to treat earthquake victims. ‘During the devastating earthquake’ wrote USSR Minister of Health E. Chazov in 1990 in the journal Vrach–’E. Gabrielian greatly contributed to the organization of adequate healthcare of wounded persons at the highest level of modern medicine. The Armenian nation should not forget his contribution to saving thousands of lives.’ Professor Gabrielian’s own personal experience of the earthquake is summarized in his book–Collapse (1993)–which also contains valuable data on the emotional stress suffered by the population and on the provision of medical and humanitarian aid.
A second book familiar to the general public is To be or not to be (1987). Published in Armenian and Russian–the book reflects Professor Gabrielian’s attachment to preventive medicine. To be or not to be popularizes scientific knowledge of the effects of tobacco–alcohol and narcotics. Five years after the book’s publication–Professor Gabrielian was named Director-General of the Drug and Medical Technology Agency and Head of the Research Laboratory of Pharmacology of Blood Circulation. He is today also President of the Pharmacological Association of Armenia.
A prolific writer–with some 300 scientific articles–100 popular articles and several books to his name–Professor Gabrielian serves on the editorial boards of a number of national and international journals. He is Editor-in-Chief of Physcopharmacology–to name but one–and is a strong advocate of the popularization of history and use of folk medicine. It was Professor Gabrielian who masterminded the biography of the ancient Armenian physician–Amirdovlat Amassiaci. He is also the author of a biography of the Russian scientist I. M. Sechenov (1957).
In recognition of his contribution to the development of Armenian science and medicine–and of his efforts to ensure that all Armenia’s benefit from advances in medicine–Professor Gabrielian has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1994) and appointed to the Board of the National Foundation of Science and Advanced Technologies of Armenia–among other distinctions.
In 1999 Gabrielian received the Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. The Kalinga Prize was established in 1951 by UNESCO. First awarded in 1952–the Kalinga Prize is presented annually by UNESCO to a person or persons–who have made outstanding contribution to the interpretation of science and technology to the general public.