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Preya Kullavanijaya: First Southeast Asian Maria Durán Medalist



International Journal of Dermatology
Volume 50, Issue 3, pages 380-381, March 2011



Former Director of the Institute of Dermatology, President of Dermatological Society of Thailand and Chairperson of the Asian Dermatological Association, Dr. Preya Kullavanijaya became the first Southeast Asian to be awarded the prestigious International Society of Dermatology (ISD) Maria Durán Medal. Dr. Preya, as she is fondly called, is currently Advisor to the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Medical Services, and to the Institute of Dermatology as well, and serves as Chair of the Thai Board of Dermatology Training and Examination.
The prestigious Maria Durán Medal is given to honor the memory of the late Dr. Maria M. Durán (Colombia), who was Secretary-General of the ISD for 10 years and Executive Vice-President before she joined her Creator. Dr. Durán’s dedication, selflessness and concern for women and children earned her much admiration and respect among her colleagues at home and abroad.


[ Evangeline B. Handog, Preya Kullavanijaya, and Tess Gabriel (left to right) during award ceremony ]
The 2010 Maria Duran Medals were given to two wonderful women: Dr. Inderjeet Kaur (India) and Dr. Preya Kullavanijaya (Thailand). The former received her medal in New Delhi in January 2010, while the latter was awarded hers during a formal ceremony at the Regional Congress of Dermatology held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia last October.
Dr. Kullavanijaya’s path in Dermatology commenced with her Clinical Attachment to Dr. Brian Russell’s Dermatology Clinic at North Middlesex Hospital, London, England in 1968. Three years later, she earned her Diploma in Dermatology at the Institute of Dermatology, St. John’s Hospital for Diseases of the Skin in London. By 1978, she became a Research Fellow at the Contact Dermatitis Clinic of the same hospital. She then became a Diplomate of the Thai Medical Board of Dermatology in 1984 and a year after, she earned her Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) Thailand. Her meritorious drive prospered and in 1995, she had her Master’s Degree from Thailand’s National Defense College, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Medical Science (DScMed) at Mahidol University. At present, she is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London (FRCP), Tokyo’s Juntendo University School of Medicine, the American Dermatological Association and the Japanese Dermatological Association.
Significantly, she was bestowed the Outstanding Lady Award, Government Sector (2001) by no less than Princess Somsawalee at Sukothai Palace. She served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology(2004–2008). She will receive the International League of Dermatological Societies’ Certificate of Appreciation at the upcoming World Congress in Seoul. Dr. Preya has authored six Thai dermatological books, 54 publications in Thai medical journals, and 40 publications in international medical journals. Congratulations Dr. Preya! We value your work, we admire your persona, and we salute your contribution to dermatology!!
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