the world academy of sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries


18 November 2015

Winners of 2015 TWAS Prizes announced

TWAS has announced the winners of the TWAS Prizes for 2015 at the Academy's 26th General Meeting in Vienna, Austria.

TWAS Prizes are awarded in nine fields: Agricultural Sciences; Biology; Chemistry; Earth Sciences; Engineering Sciences; Mathematics; Medical Sciences; Physics; and Social Sciences (called the TWAS-Celso Furtado Prize). This year, there are 14 prize winners: three from Argentina; five from China; one from Taiwan, China; three from India; one from Mexico and one from Turkey. The prize winners include five women.

Each TWAS Prize carries a cash award of USD15,000. The winners will lecture about their research at TWAS's 27th General Meeting in 2016, when they will also receive a plaque and the prize money.

Agricultural Sciences (shared)

  • Jagdish LADHA of India, for his outstanding contribution to the integration of process research with applied components of crop and resource management for the development and promotion of agricultural conservation practices in the rice-wheat system.
  • LI Feng-Min of China, for his establishment of a very cost-effective dryland agriculture system using rainwater-harvesting technology which led to food self-sufficiency for over 20-million people in China and African countries.


  • María Isabel COLOMBO of Argentina, for her outstanding contributions to the study of the autophagy pathway and its relationship with relevant human infection processes.

Chemistry (shared)

  • CHOU Pi-Tai of Taiwan, China, for his distinguished contribution to fundamental photochemistry through electronically excited-state photodynamics of organic and organometallic materials in condensed phases.
  • Tessy Maria LOPEZ GOERNE of Mexico, for her discovery of the use of functionalized nanoparticles to avoid surgical amputation of diabetic feet through the regeneration of skin and muscle tissues.

Earth Sciences

  • PIAO Shilong of China, for his fundamental contribution to the understanding of the responses of climate change to terrestrial carbon and water cycles.

Engineering Sciences

  • Ramamurty UPADRASTA of India, for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of deformation, fatigue and fracture in several classes of new materials.


  • Alicia DICKENSTEIN of Argentina, for her outstanding contribution to the understanding of discriminants.

Medical Sciences (shared)

  • Eduardo ARZT of Argentina, for his fundamental contribution to molecular neuroendocrinology, through the discovery of new genes and pathways in physiology (hormone signalling) and pathology (pituitary tumours), thus opening new targets for the treatment and cure of diseases.
  • GE Ri-Li of China, for his fundamental contribution to our understanding of the genetic basis of high-altitude adaptation in Tibetan and Mongolian populations.

Physics (shared)

  • Sandip TRIVEDI of India, for his pioneering contribution in the proposal of a cosmology with a small positive cosmological constant, within the framework of a consistent theory of quantum gravity.
  • ZHOU Xingjiang of China, for his significant contributions in pioneering the development of VUV laser-based photoemission systems and incisive investigations on the electronic structure of high-temperature superconductors.

Social Sciences (shared)

  • Ayse BUGRA of Turkey, for her contribution to research on social policy in emerging developing economies and globally, with a critical perspective on state-society-market relations in Turkey.
  • ZHENG Xiaoying of China, for her contribution to understanding the interaction of environmental and social conditions on health and disability, based on her theoretical and field work in poor areas of China.


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