The outstanding gastroenterologist professor Juris Pokrotnieks has been granted the Grindel award for lifetime achievement in Latvian medicine and pharmacy. While academician Ivars Kalvins, inventor of Mildronate®, has been awarded with the “Golden Owl” for his significant accomplishments in science. Likewise three “Silver Owl” awards have been granted to the most perspective young scientists. All these scientists have been awarded by Latvian pharmaceutical company Grindeks, involving the Latvian Academy of Sciences.
“Health is the greatest value of people and caring for it is a mission of pharmaceutical and medical industries, as well as of scientists. Grindeks is thanking professionals who devote their lives to society of Latvia, medicine, education and science,” says the Chairman of the Council of Grindeks, Kirovs Lipmans.
Riga Stradins University professor Juris Pokrotnieks, laureate of D.H.Grindel award
The scientist is a manager of Paul Stradins Clinical Hospital Hepatology and Nutrition therapy centre, as well as physician, professor and science author who wrote the monograph “Gastrointestinal Endoscopy” and is the author and co-author to more than 400 other publications.
“My first great love was gastrointestinal endoscopy, and the second love – medicine research and clinical trials. My teacher, professor Nikolai Skuja once said that the researcher must be a little nutty, and that’s the main thing! Scientists have to invent, disclose and prove things that others have never seen. I am honoured for the unexpected nomination!” says J.Pokrotnieks.
Academician Ivars Kalvins, laureate of “Golden Owl”
The inventor is a full member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and the Chairman of the Scientific Council of Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis. The award to professor Ivars Kalvins is presented for “Development of new cardioprotectors and mechanism of action studies”.
“The future of Latvia is products with high added value and they are obtainable only when science cooperates with manufacturers in their research,” says I.Kalvins.
Young scientists who received “Silver Owls” are working on cardiovascular disease and memory problem prevention, as well as the improvement of diagnostic studies.
Marina Makrecka-Kuka has been awarded for discovery and exploration of new principles of operation for molecules, which in the future could protect against cardiovascular diseases. The second “Silver Owl” was granted to Kristers Ozols, who acquired a new fluorescent compounds, which in the future could be used to study DNA and its interaction with enzymes. The third award was granted to Edijs Vavers for a new connection study that could be used for memory disorders and dementia, for example, for disease of Alzheimer’s.
About awards ceremony
Chairman of the Council of JSC Grindeks Kirovs Lipmans, director of the National Centre for Education Guntars Catlaks, as well as the president of Latvian Academy of Sciences Ojārs Spārītis all took part in the award ceremony of scientists and professors at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet.
D.H.Grindel medal was first awarded in 1995 and it is presented in honour of the first Latvian natural origin scientist, doctor, pharmacist and professor David Hieronymus Grindel (1776-1836). This award has been previously granted to academician professor Janis Stradins, professor Elmars Grens, head of Latvian centre of cardiology professor Andrejs Erglis, as well as other excellences. While the “Golden Owls” and “Silver Owls” are granted since 1998 and are presented every two years.
Grindel Award laureate receives a bronze and marble sculpture artwork and a bonus of 2,000 euros. “Golden Owl” laureate received the award and a bonus of 2,000 euros, while “Silver Owls” laureates received awards and a bonus of 1,000 euros.
 The award has been granted for „On Discovery and exploration of molecular mechanism of action of a new cardioprotective medicine candidate methyl-GBB”.
 The award has been granted for „On studies of new fluorescent nucleoside in synthesis and in use”
 The award has been granted for „On a new memory processes-improving compound discovery and pharmacological profile studies”