18 September 2012

2012 TWAS Prize winners announced

TWAS has announced the winners of the TWAS Prizes for 2012 at the Academy's 23rd General Meeting in Tianjin, China.

The prizes are awarded in 8 fields (Agricultural Sciences; Biology; Chemistry; Earth Sciences; Engineering Sciences; Mathematics; Medical Sciences; and Physics), and this year there are 13 prize winners from Argentina (1), Brazil (1), China (3), India (2), Malaysia (1), South Africa (2), Taiwan, China (1) and Uzbekistan (1). The prize winners include 2 women.

Each TWAS Prize carries a cash award of USD15,000. The winners will lecture about their research at TWAS's 24th General Meeting in Argentina in 2013, where they will also receive a plaque and the prize money. 

Agricultural Sciences (shared)

Jun YU (China), of the Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and Dilfuza EGAMBERDIEVA (Uzbekistan), of the National University of Uzbekistan, Taskent, share the 2012 TWAS Prize in Agricultural Sciences. YU is honoured for his fundamental contribution to the understanding of the rice genome including its variation, evolution, and agronomic traits. Egamberdieva is honoured for her innovative contributions to the study of plant-microbe interactions in environmentally stressful conditions and their potential to improve crop production.


Ann Shyn CHIANG (Taiwan, China), of the Brain Research Center, Hsinchu, Taiwan, China, is honoured for his outstanding contribution to our understanding of memory formation using a connectomics approach.

Chemistry (shared)

Xiao Ming CHEN (China), of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China, and Swapan K. PATI (India), of the Theoretical Sciences Unit and New Chemistry Unit, Bangalore, India, share the 2012 TWAS Prize in Chemistry. Chen is honoured for his outstanding contribution to functional coordination chemistry and the crystal engineering of coordination polymers. Pati is honoured for his impressive and significant contribution to our understanding of novel properties and the phenomena of molecular systems.

Earth Sciences 

Patrick George ERIKSSON (South Africa), of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, is honoured for his fundamental contribution to the understanding of Precambrian sedimentation systems within a broader chronological and geodynamic framework.

Engineering Sciences (shared)

Abdul Latif AHMAD (Malaysia) of the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia, and Kalyanmoy DEB (India) of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, share the 2012 TWAS Prize in Engineering Sciences. Ahmad is honoured for his contribution to sustainable environmental protection and the health care of developing countries via membrane-based technology. Kalyanmoy Deb is honoured for his contribution to the development of efficient evolutionary multi-objective optimization techniques for scientific and applied problem-solving tasks.


Fernando Codá MARQUES (Brazil) of the Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is honoured for his fundamental contributions to the field of differential geometry, particularly for his work on variational problems in conformal geometry and applications of the theory of Ricci flow.

Medical Sciences (shared)

Quarraisha ABDOOL KARIM (South Africa) of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Congella, South Africa and George GAO (China) of the Institute of Microbiology, Beijing, China, share the 2012 TWAS Prize in Medical Sciences. Abdool Karim is honoured for her exceptional and distinguished contributions to HIV prevention and women's health. Gao is honoured for his contribution to our understanding of the molecular basis of the pathogenicity of influenza viruses and related basic studies, which provide insight into the prevention and control of influenza virus infection and drug development.


Juan Pablo PAZ (Argentina), of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina was honoured for his contribution to understanding the process of decoherence and its role in explaining the emergence of classical physics out of fundamentally quantum laws, for his contribution to developing quantum information, and for his work on characterizing and preventing decoherence.

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