Dr. Roger Detels received a 2016 Chinese Government Friendship Award during a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept. 29.
A professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute, Detels was honored for his contributions to controlling HIV/AIDS in China. For more than three decades, he has conducted research and trained public health professionals in China as well as at UCLA through the UCLA/Fogarty AIDS International Research and Training Program, which he founded and directs.
The highest honor bestowed by the Chinese Central Government, the Chinese Government Friendship Award is given to foreign experts who have made significant contributions to China’s economic and social progress. The Chinese government selected this year’s 50 award recipients from a field of 200 candidates who were nominated for the extremely competitive award by more than 75 Chinese government ministries, commissions and administrations as well as 31 local, provincial, regional and municipal governments. The only public health expert among this year's recipients, Detels was in the top two in the number of votes he received during the selection process.
“Dr. Detels has worked with us to confront the HIV epidemic among high risk groups,” said Dr. Zunyou Wu, director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Wu was also one of Detels’ early trainees in the UCLA/Fogarty program. “As a part of this program, he has trained more than 100 students at UCLA and more than 3,300 short-term trainees in China over the past 30 years.”
Detels has co-authored more than 100 publications on HIV/AIDS in China that have been published in international journals, Wu noted.
“I am deeply honored with being selected to receive the Friendship Award by the government of China,” Detels said. “It has been a joy mentoring my many students from China and working with them to confront the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They make an old professor very happy!”