Crown Prince Felipe on Thursday praised the ability of distinguished Spanish cardiologist Valentin Fuster to "boost knowledge of Spain's contribution to the U.S."

The prince was on hand at the University of Alcala de Henares, near Madrid, to preside at the ceremony to present Fuster with the second Camino Real Award, which the UAH's Instituto Franklin bestows to recognize the work of those who foster Spain's image in the United States.

The panel of judges acknowledged "the extensive professional career of Dr. Fuster, promoting cultural and human relations between Spain and the United States."

Prince Felipe emphasized Fuster's efforts to "promote the good name of Spain," particularly in the United States, and he also noted "the broad and deep density of the Hispanic dimension" in that country.

"Today, we must emphasize the important role of the Hispanic community in strengthening our relations with the U.S.," the prince added.

Fuster, one of the world's pre-eminent cardiologists, is director of Mount Sinai Heart, the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and the Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center.

He also heads the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III in Madrid.

Fuster enjoys "the admiration of the entire world," Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, recipient of the first Camino Real Award, said at Thursday's ceremony.

The Instituto Franklin has the mission of propelling closer ties between Spain and the United States with the development of research, academic, teaching and information activities between the two nations. EFE