President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo received Nobel Laureate for Medicine, Prof. Torsten Wiesel, who is in the country as part of the Bridges Program of the International Peace Foundation last February 1.
Prof. Wiesel was accompanied to Malacañang by Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral and Uwe Morawetz, chairman of the Board of Directors of Bridges.
The Bridges Program brings Nobel Laureates together in a dialogue intended for the creation of a culture of peace and harmony in the global community.
In a short remark, the President said the visit came at an ideal time, when the administration is conducting talks with the Muslim separatist groups and with the Communist insurgency in an effort to create a lasting and meaningful peace for the country.
Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1981 for his pioneering work on the neural basis of visual perception, carried out in collaboration with Professor David H. Hubel at the Harvard Medical School.
Their studies showed how visual information collected by the retina is transmitted to and processed in the visual cortex of the brain. Their experiments greatly expanded the scientific knowledge of sensory processing and showed that ocular dominance develops irreversibly early in childhood development.
These studies opened the door for the understanding and treatment of childhood cataracts and strabismus.
In 1998, Wiesel was elected president of the Paris-based International Brain Research Organization. He has served since 2000 as secretary general of the Human Frontier Science Program, an organization based in Strasbourg, France.