Hitachi Energy to invest additional $1.5 billion to ramp up global transformer production by 2027

Capacity expansion will increase speed to market to meet accelerating global demand, address long-term customer investments and create over 4,000 jobs — Investments span across Europe, the Americas, and Asia leveraging existing global footprint — Around $180 million in a new state-of-the-art transformer factory in Finland, a key location for clean technology development for renewables and industrial electrification

Zurich, April 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy today revealed investments of over $1.5 billion to ramp up its global transformer manufacturing capacity to keep pace with the growing demand and support the long-term plans and electrification efforts.

The investments will gradually expand the company’s global transformer capacity by 2027 and are in addition to the $3 billion already announced to progress on the electrification of the energy system driven by the energy transition.

“The demand for transformers and electrical equipment has grown at an unprecedented scale, and we are investing to address our customers’ mid- and long-term needs. We are developing our global footprint and capacity and progressing in digitalization and technology to deliver even more sustainable and reliable solutions,” said Bruno Melles, Managing Director of the Transformers Business at Hitachi Energy, during the company’s flagship customer event, Energy & Transformers Days in Rome, Italy.

Today, the company is also announcing an investment of around $180 million in a new state-of-the-art transformer factory in the Vaasa region, Finland. This top-notch 30,000-square-meter campus will be a testament to Hitachi Energy’s dedication to innovation, quality, and environmental stewardship.

The investments complement Hitachi Energy’s broader growth efforts, which include the recently announced larger than $30 million expansion in Bad Honnef, Germany. Leveraging the company’s global footprint, additional investments will follow in Europe, the Americas, and Asia to meet the growing demand for power and distribution transformers.

Hitachi Energy’s transformer facility expansions include the ongoing project in South Boston, Virginia, US, and other recently completed projects at Jefferson City, Missouri, US, and Dos Quebradas, Colombia. In addition, the company has inaugurated new cutting-edge factories in Chongqing, China, and Hanoi, Vietnam, together with a new transformer service center in Welshpool, Australia.

“Our global investments, including the new transformer campus in Finland, underline our commitment to co-create with our utility and industry customers and partners the path to accelerate the energy transition. By strategically leveraging our global footprint, technology, and the expertise of our teams, we are not only poised to meet the global demand for sustainable energy solutions but also to drive the innovation necessary for a carbon-neutral future,” Melles added.

Transformers play a key role across the power value chain, enabling efficient transmission and distribution of electricity. They are a key component for applications such as integrating renewables, grid interconnections, powering data centers and electrifying transportation, facilitating the decarbonization of energy systems.

Hitachi Energy is the world’s largest transformer manufacturer in terms of installed base, portfolio range, manufacturing capacity, and market coverage, with over 60 transformer factories and service centers across the world.

Growing the service and digital capabilities is part of the company’s efforts to help utilities and industries operate and maintain their electrical assets. Digitalization enables efficient operations across the whole value chain, enabling reliability-centered asset management programs to help our customers extend the transformers’ life cycle, support sustainability, and allow delayed investments in new equipment.

All the announced transformer investments include sustainable and innovative manufacturing technologies for operational efficiency while ensuring high standards for safety and quality. They are advancing the company’s efforts to become carbon-neutral by 2030 and aim to create positive economic and social impact in the local communities. Hitachi Energy employs over 17,000 people across the globe in its Transformer business and plans to increase its workforce by adding 4,000 new jobs to the industry.

About Hitachi Energy
Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. We are advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. We integrate more than 150 GW of HVDC links into the power system, helping our customers enable more wind and solar. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ more than 40,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of over $10 billion USD.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society through the use of data and technology. We solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products. Hitachi operates under the business structure of “Digital Systems & Services” – supporting our customers’ digital transformation; “Green Energy & Mobility” – contributing to a decarbonized society through energy and railway systems, and “Connective Industries” – connecting products through digital technology to provide solutions in various industries. Driven by Digital, Green, and Innovation, we aim for growth through co-creation with our customers. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2022 (ended March 31, 2023) totaled 10,881.1 billion yen, with 696 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at


Media Relations
Hitachi Energy

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9104173

تعلن شركة جاو كابيتال بارتنرز عن اثنين من التعيينات لرئيسين في مناصب عليا

  • ينضم السيد/ هيون تشان تشو (HyunChan Cho) إلى الشركة في منصب العضو المنتدب – رئيس البنية الأساسية والرئيس القُطري لمنطقة كوريا
  • تنضم السيدة/ إليزابيث دي سيوتشيو (Elizabeth Di Cioccio) إلى الشركة في منصب العضو المنتدب لأسواق رأس المال في أوروبا والشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا

منطقة هونج كونج الإدارية الخاصة –Media OutReach Newswire– 23 أبريل 2024 – يسر شركة الاستثمار الخاصة جاو كابيتال بارتنرز أن تعلن عن تعيين كلاً من السيد/ هيون تشان تشو والسيدة/ إليزابيث دي سيوتشيو كعضوين رئيسيين في فريق القيادة العليا لديها. تجلب هذه التعيينات ثروة من الخبرات والتجارب للشركة، مما يضع شركة جاو كابيتال في موضع يسمح لها بتحقيق المزيد من النجاح وتعزيز التآزر عبر أقسام الاستثمار وأسواق رأس المال.

 انضم السيد/ هيون تشان تشو إلى شركة جاو كابيتال في وظيفة العضو المنتدب – رئيس البنية الأساسية والرئيس القُطري لمنطقة كوريا، حيث يتمتع بخبرة واسعة وسجل حافل في الاستثمار في البنية الأساسية. وبفضل معرفته العميقة بالصناعة وفطنته الاستراتيجية، يعد السيد تشو المرشح المثالي لقيادة مبادرات الاستثمار في البنية الأساسية لشركة جاو كابيتال، ولقيادة أعمال جاو كابيتال وتوسيعها في كوريا. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، فإن المعرفة الشاملة للسيد تشو بالسوق الكورية ستقود النمو المستمر للشركة في البلاد. وقد زودته قيادته الناجحة في آي إم إم إنفستمنت، حيث ترأس قسم الاستثمار في البنية الأساسية، وأدواره السابقة في مؤسسة التمويل الدولية بفهم شامل لفئات الأصول البديلة وإدارة المحافظ الاستثمارية. سيؤدي تعيين السيد/ تشو إلى تحقيق التآزر بين استراتيجيات الاستثمار في البنية الأساسية لشركة جاو كابيتال والمساهمة في توسع الشركة في قطاعات جديدة.

 تنضم السيدة/ إليزابيث دي سيوتشيو، إلى الشركة في وظيفة العضو المنتدب – أسواق رأس المال، أوروبا والشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا، وتجلب ما يقرب من 20 عامًا من الخبرة وسجلًا حافلًا من النجاح في أسواق رأس المال إلى جاو كابيتال. قبل انضمامها إلى جاو كابيتال، شغلت السيدة/ دي سيوتشيو منصب الرئيس الإقليمي لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط والعضو المنتدب لشركة كولبرج كرافيس روبرتس (KKR)، حيث أشرفت على أعمال KKR في الشرق الأوسط مع التركيز على تدبير رؤوس أموال من صناديق الثروة السيادية في دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي والعملاء الحكوميين وعملاء المؤسسات الآخرين. ستكون إليزابيث مسؤولة، من واقع خبرتها، عن قسم أسواق رأس المال في جاو كابيتال في منطقة أوروبا والشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا، حيث تقود المبادرات الاستراتيجية وتستمر في تعزيز علاقاتنا الرئيسية. ومن شأن تعيينها أن يعزز حضور الشركة في منطقة أوروبا والشرق الأوسط وإفريقيا ويساهم في نموها الشامل.

 قال كينيث جاو، الرئيس والعضو المنتدب لشركة جاو كابيتال بارتنرز: “يسعدنا أن نرحب بالسيد/ هيون تشان تشو في جاو كابيتال بارتنرز بصفته رئيسًا للبنية الأساسية لدينا ورئيسًا قطريًا لمنطقة كوريا. إن معرفة السيد/ تشو العميقة في الصناعة وفطنته الاستراتيجية تجعله المرشح المثالي لقيادة مبادراتنا للاستثمار في البنية الأساسية في جميع الأسواق، فضلاً عن قيادة النمو الإجمالي للشركة في السوق الكورية، بفضل خبرته عبر فئات الأصول البديلة، بما في ذلك البنية الأساسية ورأس المال المتنامي ورأس المال الاستثماري، نحن واثقون من أن انضمامه سيساعدنا على تحقيق أهدافنا الاستراتيجية لشركتنا.

 قالت كريستينا جاو، العضو المنتدب والرئيس العالمي لأسواق رأس المال والرئيس المشارك للاستثمارات البديلة في جاو كابيتال بارتنرز: “نود أن نرحب بشدة بإليزابيث في فريق أسواق رأس المال لدينا. لقد عرفت إليزابيث شخصيًا لأكثر من عقد من الزمان وأكن احترامًا كبيرًا لعملها في صناعتنا. نظن أن خبرة السيدة/ دي سيوتشيو الرائعة في تدبير رؤوس الأموال، إلى جانب مهاراتها القيادية القوية، تجعلها إضافة قيمة إلى جاو كابيتال وستساهم في نمونا المستمر في الأسواق الخاصة بمنطقة أوروبا والشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا وقطاع البنية الأساسية وخارجها. ومن خلال الاستفادة من خبرة السيدة/ دي سيوتشيو الواسعة وفطنتها الصناعية، فإننا على استعداد لإطلاق العنان لفرص مثيرة وتقديم قيمة طويلة الأجل لمستثمرينا.

 ومع التزامها القوي بتحقيق النمو المستدام، تعمل شركة جاو كابيتال بارتنرز بنشاط على توسيع محفظتها في قطاع البنية الأساسية والاستفادة من الفرص المتنامية في الأسواق ذات الإمكانات العالية. وتوجد لدى الشركة خطط قوية لمواصلة تحديد فرص استثمارية جديدة وتنفيذها، حيث ستلعب قيادة السيد/ تشو والسيدة/ دي سيوتشيو دورًا حيويًا في جهود توسع الشركة وتعزيز مكانتها كلاعب رائد في السوق.

 حول جاو كابيتال بارتنرز

جاو كابيتال بارتنرز هي شركة لإدارة صناديق الأسهم الخاصة تتمتع بمكانة فريدة وتركز على أسواق العقارات في منطقة آسيا والمحيط الهادئ وغيرها من الأسواق ذات العوائق العالية أمام الدخول على مستوى العالم.

تتخصص شركة جاو كابيتال في إضافة قيمة استراتيجية إلى العقارات غير المستغلة من خلال إعادة التصميم وإعادة التنظيم، وتدير نموذج أعمال متكامل مع منصات التشغيل الداخلية الخاصة بها لإدارة الأصول في المجالات التجارية والضيافة وتطوير العقارات والخدمات اللوجستية وتكنولوجيا المعلومات والاتصالات والتعليم. وتغطي استثمارات الشركة مجموعة كاملة من القطاعات العقارية، بما في ذلك التطوير السكني والمكاتب ومراكز البيع بالتجزئة والشقق الفندقية والفنادق والمستودعات اللوجستية ومشاريع تكنولوجيا المعلومات والاتصالات.

قامت شركة جاو كابيتال بجمع سبعة صناديق مختلطة تستهدف منطقة آسيا والمحيط الهادئ منذ عام 2005. وتدير الشركة أيضًا صناديق ذات قيمة مضافة/صناديق انتهازية في الولايات المتحدة، وصندوق ضيافة لعموم آسيا، وصندوق ضيافة أوروبي، وصندوق أسهم النمو، كما تقدم خدمات للاستثمارات الائتمانية والاستثمارات المباشرة في الحساب المنفصل على مستوى العالم.

جمعت جاو كابيتال أسهم بقيمة 22.5 مليار دولار أمريكي منذ عام 2005 مع أصول بقيمة 35.9 مليار دولار أمريكي تحت الإدارة اعتبارًا من الربع الرابع من عام 2023.

Gaw Capital Partners Announces Two Key Senior Appointments

  • HyunChan Cho joins as Managing Director – Head of Infrastructure and Head of Korea
  • Elizabeth Di Cioccio joins as Managing Director – Capital Markets, EMEA

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach Newswire – 23 April 2024 – Private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners is pleased to announce the appointments of Mr. HyunChan Cho and Ms. Elizabeth Di Cioccio as key additions to its senior leadership team. These appointments bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the firm, positioning Gaw Capital for further success and fostering synergy across its investment and capital markets divisions.

Mr. HyunChan Cho joins Gaw Capital as the Managing Director – Head of Infrastructure and Head of Korea, bringing extensive expertise and a proven track record in infrastructure investment. With his deep industry knowledge and strategic acumen, Mr. Cho is the ideal candidate to drive Gaw Capital’s infrastructure investment initiatives, and to lead and expand Gaw Capital’s business in Korea. In addition, Mr. Cho’s comprehensive knowledge of the Korean market will spearhead the firm’s continued growth in the country. His successful leadership at IMM Investment, where he headed the infrastructure investment division, and his previous roles at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of alternative asset classes and portfolio management. Mr. Cho’s appointment will synergize Gaw Capital’s infrastructure investment strategies and contribute to the firm’s expansion into new sectors.

Ms. Elizabeth Di Cioccio, joining as the Managing Director – Capital Markets, EMEA, brings nearly 20 years of experience and a proven track record of success in capital markets to Gaw Capital. Prior to joining Gaw Capital, Ms. Di Cioccio served as the Head of Middle East and Managing Director at KKR & Co. Inc (KKR), overseeing KKR’s business in the Middle East with a focus on raising capital from GCC-based sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and other government and institutional clients. With her expertise, Elizabeth will be responsible for Gaw Capital’s capital markets division in the EMEA region, driving strategic initiatives and continue to foster our key relationships. Her appointment will enhance the firm’s presence in the EMEA region and contribute to its overall growth.

Kenneth Gaw, President & Managing Principal at Gaw Capital Partners, said, “We are delighted to welcome Mr. HyunChan Cho to Gaw Capital Partners as our Head of Infrastructure and Head of Korea. Mr. Cho’s deep industry knowledge and strategic acumen make him the ideal candidate to lead our infrastructure investment initiatives in all markets, as well as drive the firm’s overall growth in the Korean market. With his expertise across alternative asset classes, including infrastructure, growth capital and venture capital, we are confident his joining will help us further achieve our corporate strategic goals.”

Christina Gaw, Managing Principal, Global Head of Capital Markets, and Co-Chair of Alternative Investments at Gaw Capital Partners, said, “We would like to extend a big welcome to Elizabeth to our Capital Markets team. I have known Elizabeth personally for over a decade and have great respect for her work in our industry. We believe Ms. Di Cioccio’s remarkable capital raising experience, coupled with her strong leadership skills, make her a valuable addition to Gaw Capital and will contribute to our continued growth in the EMEA region private markets, infrastructure sector and beyond. Leveraging Ms. Di Cioccio’s extensive experience and industry acumen, we are poised to unlock exciting opportunities and deliver long-term value to our investors.”

With a strong commitment to achieving sustainable growth, Gaw Capital Partners has been actively expanding its portfolio in the infrastructure sector and capitalizing on the growing opportunities in high-potential markets. The firm has robust plans to continue identifying and executing new investment opportunities, where Mr. Cho’s and Ms. Di Cioccio’s leadership will play a vital role in spearheading the firm’s expansion efforts and cementing its position as a leading player in the market.

About Gaw Capital Partners

Gaw Capital Partners is a uniquely positioned private equity fund management company focusing on real estate markets in Asia Pacific and other high barrier-to-entry markets globally.

Specializing in adding strategic value to under-utilized real estate through redesign and repositioning, Gaw Capital runs an integrated business model with its own in-house asset management operating platforms in commercial, hospitality, property development, logistics, IDC and Education. The firm’s investments span the entire spectrum of real estate sectors, including residential development, offices, retail malls, serviced apartments, hotels, logistics warehouses and IDC projects.

Gaw Capital has raised seven commingled funds targeting the APAC region since 2005. The firm also manages value-add/opportunistic funds in the US, a Pan-Asia hospitality fund, a European hospitality fund, a Growth Equity Fund and it also provides services for credit investments and separate account direct investments globally.

Gaw Capital has raised equity of US$22.5 billion since 2005 with assets of US$35.9 billion under management as of Q4 2023.

EMGA secures US$ 15M financing for Banco Improsa in Costa Rica

LONDON, April 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emerging Markets Global Advisory LLP (EMGA), in partnership with Banco Improsa, announces that it has secured a US$15 million line of credit from The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

EMGA’s Head of Investment Banking and Managing Director of EMGA, Sajeev Chakkalakal, stated: “In spite of a challenging global macroeconomic environment, we are pleased to once again facilitate Banco Improsa’s continued vision to supporting SMEs in Costa Rica and complete this financing solution.”

Commenting on the transaction, Felix Alpizar Lobo, General Manager of Banco Improsa, said: “This financing reaffirms our commitment to strengthening the SME segment in Costa Rica. Banco Improsa is proud to share JICA’s objective of contributing to the economic and social growth of developing countries.”

EMGA’s Managing Director Jeremy Dobson added: “Banco Improsa’s strong management and healthy financial position were key factors in helping the EMGA Investment Banking team secure this funding, and this JICA facility will further strengthen Banco Improsa’s ability to grow its core SME lending book.”


The Japan International Cooperation Agency is a governmental agency that provides most of the Official Development Assistance for the Government of Japan. It is chartered with assisting the economic and social growth of developing countries, and the promotion international cooperation.


EMGA, with offices in London and New York, assists financial institutions and corporations seeking new debt or equity capital. EMGA’s multi-national team combine the decades of experience necessary to complete transactions on behalf of their clients within the world’s emerging markets and frontier economies, including Costa Rica which remains a key market. With a proven track record in capital formation and strategic advisory throughout diverse economic cycles, EMGA continues expanding its geographic reach and service offering, solidifying its place in the market as one of the industries pre-eminent emerging markets focused niche investment banks.


It is a commercial bank with more than 37 years of experience, whose relational business model and focus on niche markets specializes in providing financing solutions and services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), among others. Banco Improsa was one of the first private banks in Costa Rica to offer non-financial services to its clients and has a long-standing history of providing advice and support to SMEs. Banco Improsa’s key success factor is its commitment to high standards of agile and flexible service, which, together with the offer of customized financial solutions, has enabled it to achieve a solid position in these segments.

Banco Improsa is a subsidiary of Grupo Financiero Improsa (GFI).

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GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000946184

Concentrix + Webhelp Rebrands as Concentrix

Company’s rebranded identity solidifies its position as the global technology and services organization, powering the brands of the future

NEWARK, Calif., April 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Concentrix Corporation (NASDAQ: CNXC), a global technology and services leader that has been operating under the trade name of Concentrix + Webhelp, today announced its transition to the Concentrix name and continued evolution of its brand.

Concentrix + Webhelp rebrand as Concentrix: Concentrix + Webhelp today announced its transition to the Concentrix name and continued evolution of its brand.

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on this link.

The Concentrix name is based on the concept of concentric circles, reflecting the company’s focus on keeping its people and clients always at the center, a concept that is still as relevant today as it was when the name was established. The newly designed visual identity represents the technology and transformative solutions that Concentrix delivers to power the brands of the future.

This rebrand reinforces the company’s continued commitment to bringing together a comprehensive and unmatched portfolio of capabilities. With an expanded breadth of generative AI solutions, digital capabilities, and high-value services, the company believes it has never been better positioned to deliver fully integrated, end-to-end solutions across the entire enterprise, at speed and scale.
“With this rebrand, we solidify our position as a leading technology and services company that is human-centered, tech-powered and intelligence-fueled,” said Chris Caldwell, President and CEO of Concentrix. “Whether it’s designing game-changing brand experiences, building and scaling secure AI technologies, or running digital operations, we bring together fully integrated solutions that solve our clients’ toughest business challenges.”

Today, Concentrix’ 2,000+ clients benefit from a robust, well-balanced footprint, backed by global consistency, local market expertise and a world-class portfolio of capabilities aligned to design, build, and run the cutting-edge solutions the company delivers.

To learn more about Concentrix, please visit

About us: Experience the power of Concentrix
Concentrix Corporation (NASDAQ: CNXC) is a global technology and services leader that powers the world’s best brands, today and into the future. We’re human-centered, tech-powered, intelligence-fueled. Every day, we design, build, and run fully integrated, end-to-end solutions at speed and scale across the entire enterprise, helping over 2,000 clients solve their toughest business challenges. Whether it’s designing game-changing brand experiences, building and scaling secure AI technologies, or running digital operations that deliver global consistency with a local touch, we have it covered. At the heart of everything we do lies a commitment to transforming the way companies connect, interact, and grow. We’re here to redefine what success means, delivering outcomes unimagined across every major vertical in 70 + markets. Virtually everywhere. Visit to learn more.

Safe Harbor Statement
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the company’s capabilities and positioning to deliver business outcomes and solve challenges for its clients, and statements that include words such as believe, expect, may, will, provide, could and should and other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to the company’s ability to successfully execute its strategy, competitive conditions in the company’s industry, and other factors contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2023 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and subsequent SEC filings. We do not undertake a duty to update forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made.

Copyright 2024 Concentrix Corporation
All rights reserved. Concentrix, Webhelp, Concentrix + Webhelp, the Concentrix and Webhelp logos, and all other Concentrix company, product and services names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of Concentrix Corporation and its subsidiaries. Concentrix and the Concentrix logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. and applicable non-U.S. jurisdictions. Other names and marks are the property of their respective owners.

Investor Contact:
Sara Buda
Investor Relations
Concentrix Corporation

Media Contact:
Debbie Gonzalez
Marketing & Communications
Concentrix Corporation

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9103218

Revolutionary Scientists Honored for Advancements in Gene Therapy for Neuromuscular Diseases and RNA Discoveries: King Faisal Prize Laureates in Medicine, Professor Jerry Mendell, and in Science, Professor Howard Chang, Awarded

During its 46th session, King Faisal Prize Recognized Other Outstanding Figures in the Fields of Islamic Studies, and Service to Islam

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — During the 46th session of King Faisal Prize on April 22, exceptional accomplishments in the fields of gene therapy for neuromuscular diseases and groundbreaking RNA discoveries were acknowledged. Professor Jerry Mendell was awarded the Medicine Prize for his groundbreaking contributions to the screening, early diagnosis, and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, notably spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Professor Howard Chang received the Science Prize for unveiling the intrinsic role of long non-coding RNAs in gene regulation and function, a previously overlooked area of study.

Through innovative gene therapy approaches, Professor Mendell, the Director of Gene Therapy Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Curran Peters Chair in Pediatric Research, has revolutionized treatment strategies, offering hope to countless patients worldwide.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), once considered a leading genetic cause of infant mortality, has seen a paradigm shift in treatment due to Professor Mendell’s pioneering efforts. By utilizing gene therapy to deliver crucial genes to affected cells, he has significantly improved outcomes for patients, leading in 2019 to the first-ever FDA-approved gene therapy treatment for pediatric SMA patients (Zolgensma®).

In addition to his work in SMA, Professor Mendell’s research has extended to Duchenne muscular dystrophy and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, showcasing the versatility and efficacy of gene therapy in addressing a spectrum of neuromuscular conditions. Genetic mutations in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients hinder the production of dystrophin, a crucial protein for muscle health. While initial symptoms primarily affect skeletal muscles, DMD progresses to impact cardiac and respiratory functions. Gene therapy offers a solution by addressing this genetic anomaly, allowing the body to produce dystrophin and halt muscle degeneration. In June 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment for pediatric DMD patients aged 4-5, utilizing a pioneering gene therapy co-developed by Professor Mendell and Professor Louise Rodino-Klapac, a former post-doctoral researcher in Mendell’s lab. This therapy involves a single injection, delivering a micro-dystrophin gene within an adeno-associated virus serotype (AAVrh74), facilitating the transfer of missing or corrected genes to cells.

He has played a significant role in clinical trials targeting different forms of Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD), characterized by muscle weakness affecting the shoulders, upper arms, hips, and upper legs. One study particularly concentrated on LGMD2B, demonstrating that a single injection of a gene therapy vector effectively restored damaged muscle fibers, mitigating degeneration, and improving muscle function.

Professor Mendell boasts a portfolio of more than 400 published papers, a testament to his prolific contributions to the field. In acknowledgment of his achievements, he was honored with election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021. The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy bestowed upon him the prestigious Translational Science Award named in his honor. Furthermore, in 2017, Science Magazine recognized his groundbreaking work in SMA Gene Therapy with the esteemed Breakthrough Achievement Award. His accolades also include numerous other awards and invitations to deliver honorary lectures at esteemed institutions.

In his acceptance speech during the ceremony, Professor Mendell said, “The principles of the award that reflect King Faisal’s intent to relieve human suffering are consistent with my own views and lifetime achievements. I have done everything I could do to improve the quality and prolong life for patients afflicted with neuromuscular diseases.

On the frontier of molecular biology, Professor Howard Chang, a physician-scientist and Professor of Dermatology and Genetics, and Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research at Stanford University, has been awarded King Faisal Prize for Science in Biology. Professor Chang’s elucidation of the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in gene regulation has revolutionized our understanding of cellular processes and disease mechanisms.

Through innovative genome-wide methodologies, Professor Chang has uncovered the intricate interplay between lncRNAs and gene expression, shedding light on fundamental biological processes underlying development, cancer, and aging. Despite not encoding proteins, lncRNAs are crucial for controlling the timing and amount of protein production, impacting the overall function and behavior of cells.

Within each human cell, a remarkable feat of organization unfolds: 2 meters of DNA are tightly packed into a nucleus merely 10 microns in size. This dense packaging renders most of the DNA inaccessible, except for the active DNA elements crucial to the cell’s functioning and reading. Identifying these accessible elements unveils invaluable insights into the cellular “software.” His groundbreaking techniques lie in mapping chromatin—the substance constituting chromosomes, comprised of DNA and associated proteins governing genome structure and gene expression. This has provided unprecedented insights into the regulatory mechanisms governing gene expression, paving the way for novel therapeutic interventions and precision medicine approaches. One technique is the Assay of Transposase Accessible Chromatin, employing the Tn5 transposase enzyme to efficiently copy and paste DNA. This revolutionary technique has yielded a million-fold enhancement in sensitivity and a hundred-fold improvement in mapping speed for regulatory DNA—the epigenome—in human cells.

As the founder of the RNA Medicine Program at Stanford University, Professor Chang continues to spearhead efforts to translate RNA science into tangible clinical applications, furthering the promise of RNA-based therapeutics in treating a wide range of diseases. Prof. Chang’s honors include the NAS Award for Molecular Biology, Outstanding Investigator Award of the National Cancer Institute, Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, Judson Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society, and the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. His work was honored by the journal Cell as a Landmark paper over the last 40 years and by Science as “Insight of the decade”.

In his acceptance speech during the ceremony, Professor Chang said, “Our research asked a basic question: how do cells decide when and where to switch different genes on? How do these decisions get passed over time? Our studies led us to a new class of RNAs, called long noncoding RNAs, that help cells remember their cell fates. Our understanding of the gene switches led to an understanding of how inherited genetic differences cause disease, especially immune diseases. This understanding also helped to tackle mutations that arise in cancer.”

In addition to honoring advancements in medicine and science, King Faisal Prize also recognized exemplary contributions in Islamic Studies and Service to Islam.  Professor Wael Hallaq, among the top 500 scholars in Islamic Studies globally, was awarded the Islamic Studies prize for his groundbreaking contributions in guiding the development of Islamic legislation and challenging the narrative of closing of the gate of ijtihad – interpreting Islamic texts – gained prominence, reshaping accepted paradigms in the field.

The Japan Muslim Association and Mr. Mohammad El Sammak were honored for their exemplary leadership in serving Islam and humanity. The Japan Muslim Association is a pioneering Islamic organization for Japanese Muslims, renowned for its historic translation of the Holy Quran into Japanese, and its defense of Muslims’ affairs in Japan. And, Mr. Mohammad El Sammak, a pioneer in dialogue and bridge-building between different faiths, has made a lasting impact in interfaith dialogue over five decades. He was awarded for his effective contributions to conferences exploring Islam’s relationship with other beliefs and his leadership in institutions dedicated to tolerance and peace.

King Faisal Prize for Arabic Language & Literature for 2024 on the topic of “Non-Arab Institutions and their Endeavors to Promote Arabic” was withheld due to nominated works not elevating to the criteria of the prize.

Since 1979, King Faisal Prize in its 5 different categories has awarded 295 laureates who have made distinguished contributions to different sciences and causes. Each prize laureate is endowed with USD 200 thousand; a 24-carat gold medal weighing 200 grams, and a Certificate inscribed with the Laureate’s name and a summary of their work which qualified them for the prize.


Maysa Shawwa
King Faisal Foundation

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