Seven scientists were awarded the Shaw Prize and shared three million U.S. dollars Wednesday for their outstanding achievements in astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical science.
Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, accompanied by 103-year-old Run Run Shaw, patron of the Prize, presented the awards to the seven laureates at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
The Shaw Prize in Astronomy was equally shared by Dr Enrico Costa, Director of Research at the Institute of Space Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics (Rome) of the National Institute of Astrophysics, Italy and Dr Gerald J Fishman, Senior Astrophysicist at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, USA for their leadership of space missions that enabled the demonstration of the cosmological origin of gamma ray bursts, the brightest sources known in the universe.
The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine went to three scientists including Professor Jules A Hoffmann of University of Strasbourg, France, Professor Ruslan M Medzhitov, David W Wallace Professor of Immunobiology, Yale University, USA and Professor Bruce A Beutler, Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, and Director of Center for Genetics of Host Defense, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA for their discovery of the molecular mechanism of innate immunity, the first line of defense against pathogens.
The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Science was awarded to Professor Demetrios Christodoulou, Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland and Professor Richard S Hamilton, Davies Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University, USA for their highly innovative works on nonlinear partial differential equations in Lorentzian and Riemannian geometry and their applications to general relativity and topology.
Established in 2002 under the auspices of Run Run Shaw, Hong Kong's famous industrialist, the Shaw Prize consists of three annual prizes of Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Science. Each prize bears a monetary award of one million U.S. dollars.
The prize honors individuals who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or application and whose work has a positive and profound impact on the mankind.
Professor Chen-Ning Yang, chairman of the Shaw Prize's board of adjudicators, said at the prize-awarding ceremony that the Shaw Prize is proud to play a role in recognizing revolutionary advances in these vibrant and productive areas of modern scientific research.
There have been all together 43 laureates since the first Shaw Prize Awarding Ceremony took place in 2004.