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(UC Davis) – California National Primate Research Center Core Scientist Dr. Koen Van Rompay was recently honored for his work, both in and out of the lab, with a Chancellor’s Achievement Award in Diversity and Community.
Dr. Van Rompay was among six people and three departments at UC Davis who received the award, given in recognition of achievements that contribute substantially to the development and well-being of the campus’ diverse and evolving community. Starting more than 20 years ago, his work on testing anti-HIV drugs to treat or prevent infection of macaques led to the development of Tenofovir, a potent drug that has become the most widely used drug to treat HIV-infected people world-wide.
Tenofovir is also used increasingly to reduce transmission of HIV from mother to child, and is also part of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) tablets that are used to reduce sexual transmission among adults.
His work outside of the lab with Sahaya International, a nonprofit organization that he founded along with close family members and friends, has taken on hunger, poverty, HIV/AIDS awareness, education disparities, women’s reproductive health and empowerment and several other issues affecting underprivileged communities in impoverished nations including India, Vietnam, Kenya and Vietnam.
“I am honored to be an award recipient”, Van Rompay said. “Both the research as well as the work with Sahaya is a result of great team work. Therefore, the credit for this award is truly shared with all staff, volunteers and donors who over all the years have contributed to this success.”
More info about Sahaya can be found at www.sahaya.org, or in the above award-winning documentary “Sahaya Going Beyond,” narrated by Jeremy Irons.