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Academia Sinica president wins Nikkei Asia Prize

2012/05/04 21:31:17

Tokyo, May 4 (CNA) Chi-Huey Wong, president of Taiwan's Academia Sinica, has been named one of the three winners of the Nikkei Asia Prize for his research on glycochemistry, Nihon Keizai Shimbun announced Friday.

Wong, 63, won in the science, technology and innovation category,the newspaper said, noting that his research has opened the way for the development of new vaccines and medications.

The prize, established by Nihon Keizai Shimbun in 1996, is bestowed to non-Japanese Asians who have contributed to enhancing the welfare of the people in the region.

Jury head Shoichiro Toyoda lauded Wong as the world's leading expert in glycochemistry and said his research has been widely used to help treat cancer and infectious and immunological diseases.

He also noted that Wong worked at Riken, a major natural science research institute in Japan, between 1991 and 1999, and helped the institute after his return to Taiwan.

"Wong has contributed a great deal to the promotion of Taiwan-Japan exchanges," he said.

Wong was Taiwan's sixth recipient of the prize.

Previous Taiwanese winners include Wu Maw-kuen, then directorof the Institute of Physics of Academia Sinica, Taiwan's leading research institution, and Chen Ding-shinn, National Taiwan University professor and a leading researcher on hepatitis.

Chang Chun-yen, professor emeritus of National Chiao Tung University; Hsu Wen-lung, founder of Chi Mei Corp.; and Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Co. Chairman Morris Chang, also won the award.

This year's two other winners were Chinese environmentalist Yang Yong and Sybil Wettasinghe, a Sri Lankan writer and illustrator.

Yang took the award in the regional growth category. He has studied ecosystems and water quality along China's Yangtze River for more than 20 years, working to strengthen environmental conservation in the country.

Wettasinghe, a Sri Lankan writer and illustrator of children's books, won in the culture category. Her works, which draw on Sri Lanka's cultural diversity and natural beauty, have been translated overseas and are enjoyed by children around the world.

(By Yang Ming-chu and Lilian Wu)