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19 October 2009

TWAS Announces 2009 Prize Winners

TWAS has announced the winners of the TWAS Prizes for 2009 at the Academy's 20th General Meeting in Durban, South Africa. Each prize is endowed with USD15,000. The winners will be presented their prizes and asked to lecture about their research at TWAS's 21th General Meeting in Hyderabad in 2010.

Huey-Lang YANG, distinguished professor at the Center of Biotechnology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, China, has won the 2009 TWAS Prize in the agricultural sciences for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of fish immunology, invention of oral vaccine technology and application to warm water fish aquaculture.

Lin HE, professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, and Partha Pratim MAJUMDER, professor of eminence at the Human Genetics Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, India, share the 2009 TWAS Prize in biology. He is honoured for his basic and significant contributions to the understanding of causative genes and molecular mechanics of genetic diseases. Majumder is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of human evolution and diseases through human genome diversity and genetic epidemiological studies in populations and families.

Li-Jun WAN, professor at the Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, and Swapan Kumar GHOSH, head of the Theoretical Chemistry Section of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai, India, share the 2009 TWAS Prize in chemistry. Wan is honoured for his basic and significant contribution to surface and interface physical chemistry. Ghosh is recognized for having formulated a theory of covalent binding in molecules by proposing the novel concept of spin-polarized electronegativity and hardness.  

Rafael NAVARRO-GONZALEZ, professor at the Laboratory of Plasma Physics and Planetary Studies, Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Autonomous National University of Mexico in Mexico City, has won the 2009 TWAS Prize for earth sciences for his outstanding achievements in the discovery of Mars-like soils in the Atacama Desert, a location now used as training ground for future Mars missions.

Liang-Gee CHEN, distinguished professor at National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, China has won the 2009 TWAS Prize in the engineering sciences for his leadership and significant contributions to the joint development of video processing algorithms and VLSI architectures.

Enrique PUJALS, a native Argentinean who serves as professor at the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been named the winner of the 2009 TWAS Prize in mathematics for his contribution to develop a theory about robust dynamics and about the role of homoclinic bifurcation as a universal mechanism to describe the way to produce very rich and complex dynamics.

Ricardo GAZZINELLI, professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Immunology of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has won he 2009 TWAS Prize in the medical sciences for his seminal work on elucidating molecular and cellular mechanisms by which innate immunity mediates host resistance to infection and diseases caused by intracellular protozoan parasites.

Hongjun GAO, deputy director of the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, and Nathan BERKOVITS, full professor at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of Universidade Estadual Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil, share the 2009 TWAS Prize in Physics. Gao is honoured for his basic and significant contributions to the understanding and controlling of quantum structure formation and application in quantum devices. Berkovits is recognized for his significant contributions to superstring theory and its covariant quantization.

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