Winners of 2012 TWAS Regional Prize announced

Publicado em 20/09/2012

TWAS, em Setembro/2012

TWAS’s five Regional Offices play a key role in nominating and selecting candidates for TWAS’s wide variety of activities, and since 2007, each regional office has been responsible for awarding one prize each year – the TWAS Regional Prize – worth USD3,000. The subject area of the prize, too, reflects TWAS’s mission to build scientific capacity in the South, and reflects the Academy’s recognition that in order to do this effectively, scientists who are active in the broader fields of education, dissemination and the setting up of actual physical scientific institutions are essential. For this reason, the prize rotates in three areas: (i) the popularization of science, (ii) the development of scientific educational material, and (iii) building scientific institutions.

The 2012 winners being honoured for their achievements in ‘Building Scientific Institutions’ are:

  • Selected by TWAS-ROESEAP (Regional Office for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific):

The winner of the TWAS-ROESEAP Regional Prize, Yin Li, has been invited to give his lecture at the TWAS 12th General Conference in Tianjin. The title of his presentation:  ‘Building up strength in biotechnological manufacturing: from concept to strategic emerging industry’.

Yin Li, Professor and Programme Director, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China. Li was deeply involved, from 2007 to 2009, in the establishment of the Tianjin Industrial Biotechnology R&D Centre, CAS (now the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology) and served as its founding deputy director, and later, member of the scientific advisory board. Li also greatly contributed to the development of the industrial biotechnology programme of CAS, as witnessed not only by the establishment of the new institute, but also a key laboratory, new initiatives, and new platforms.

  • Selected by TWAS-ROLAC (Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean):

Rogério Cerqueira Leite founded the Brazilian Centre for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, which is unique in Latin America, and part of a select group of research institutions worldwide. Leite was also one of the founders of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), ranked third in Latin America. In the 1980s, Leite created the Development Company for the Campinas High Technology Complex, and the Technological Development Company. Later, with a small group of Brazilian physicists, he had the idea of building a synchrotron radiation national laboratory, the first in the Southern Hemisphere. Following critical negotiations with the Brazilian government, Leite also managed to establish the Synchrotron Light National Laboratory in Campinas, which was opened to researchers in 1997.

  • Selected by TWAS-ARO (Arab Regional Office):

Magdy Madkour, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Arid Lands Agricultural Research Institute (ALARI), Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

. Magdy Madkour, a specialist in plant biotechnology, established a scientific school of young scientists at the Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute in Egypt in 1990 and led this team for 15 years. This effort has resulted in several patents, the commercialization of research products and a large number of peer reviewed publications in the areas of genetic engineering of plants, genomics, molecular biology and marker assisted technologies.

  • Selected by TWAS-ROCASA (Regional Office for Central and South Asia):

Jayant Narlikar, Professor, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, India, and Yousef Sobouti, Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences in Zanjan, Iran.

Jayant Narlikar established the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1980, an autonomous centre which supplements the facilities available to universities in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics and provides an outstanding graduate school. Narliker also established an Observatory Centre within the system for young graduate students to work with outstanding scientists in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, which has been recognized internationally.

Yousef Sobouti founded the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences in Shiraz, Iran, which provides world class graduate education in the basic sciences.

  • Selected by TWAS-ROSSA (Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa):

Charles Obadiah Wambebe, Founder-President of the International Biomedical Research Institute, Nigeria. Wambebe has both developed and strengthened about ten reputable national and international institutions in the area of drug discovery and development. From 1989 to 2001, Wambebe was the director-general of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) based in Abuja, Nigeria, which was recognized in 2000 as a WHO Collaborating Centre. Recently, NIPRD has been accorded Centre of Excellence by the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation in Health Innovation in Africa. In 2011, NIPRD entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Minnesota , USA, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, and the National Agency for Drug Administration and Control, Nigeria.

Each winner is awarded his or her prize at an event selected by the corresponding Regional Office. One winner each year may be asked to present a lecture on their work at the annual General Meeting.

This year, since the conference is being held in Tianjin, China, the winner of the TWAS-ROESEAP (Regional Office for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific) Regional Prize, Yin Li, has been invited to give his lecture at the TWAS 12th General Conference which is taking place this week (18-21 September). His lecture will be on  ‘Building up strength in biotechnological manufacturing: from concept to strategic emerging industry’.