Asian Scientist (Jan. 28, 2014) – Professor Wong Chi-Huey, President of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, has won the 2014 Wolf Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering contributions to the synthesis of compounds vitally important to biology and medicine.
Sometimes cited as the most prestigious award after the Nobel Prize, the Wolf Prize is presented to living scientists and artists for “achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples” by the Israel-based Wolf Foundation, established in 1976 by the late German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist Ricardo Wolf.
The announcement of Wong’s award cited his development of methods to synthesize complex carbohydrates, glycoproteins and related substances that had been impossible or unfeasible to be synthesized by other methods.
His work has been used by carbohydrate chemistry and biology researchers to halt progression of cancer and viral infections, and increase immunological functions in the body. The research has also led to the development of vaccines, therapeutics and glycan microarrays for analysis of protein-carbohydrate interaction.
Wong, who was born in Taiwan, currently serves as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Taiwanese cabinet and is a professor of chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in the United States.
He was presented a certificate and a $100,000 award with other Wolf Prize honorees from Israeli President Shimon Peres and Education Minister Shai Piron in a special ceremony this month at the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament).
Source: The Scripps Research Institute; Photo: Academia Sinica.
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