HONG KONG, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- A presentation ceremony of the annual Shaw Prize was held Monday evening in Hong Kong, with five scientists commended for their prominent work in astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical science.
Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung presented the awards to the five laureates at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Each prize bears a monetary award of one million U.S. dollars.
The Shaw Prize in Astronomy was awarded in equal shares to David C Jewitt, Professor of Astronomy and Director of Institute for Planets and Exoplanets, University of California, USA and Jane Luu, Technical Staff of Lincoln Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA for their discovery and characterization of trans-Neptunian bodies, an archeological treasure dating back to the formation of the solar system and the long-sought source of short period comets.
Luu has become the first female winning the Shaw Prize.
The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine went to Franz- Ulrich Hartl, Director of Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany and Arthur L Horwich, Sterling Professor of Genetics of Yale University, USA for their contributions to the understanding of the molecular mechanism of protein folding. Proper protein folding is essential for many cellular functions.
The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences went to Maxim Kontsevich, Permanent Professor at l'Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, France for his pioneering works in algebra, geometry and mathematical physics and in particular deformation quantization, motivic integration and mirror symmetry.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the Shaw Prize's board of adjudicators Chen-Ning Yang said the Shaw Prize was proud to present the five scientists in the field of astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical science which represent active, productive and extremely exciting research areas that have tremendous potential for discoveries beneficial to mankind in the 21st Century and beyond.
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.
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. There have been all together 48 laureates since the first Shaw Prize Awarding Ceremony took place in 2004.