At a press conference today in Hong Kong, The Shaw Prize Foundation announced The Shaw Laureates for 2009. The Shaw Prize consists of three annual prizes: Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences, each prize bearing a monetary award of $1 million US dollars.
Run Run Shaw, a well-known Hong Kong film producer and philanthropist, established the Shaw Prize Foundation in November 2002. The Prize honors individuals, regardless of race, nationality and religious belief, who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or application and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind.
In The Life Science and Medicine category a joint prize was awarded to Professor Douglas Coleman, Emeritus Scientist of The Jackson Laboratory in Maine, USA and Professor Jeffrey Friedman, Marilyn M Simpson Professor of The Rockefeller University and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for their work leading to the discovery of leptin, a hormone that regulates food intake and body weight. Dr. Friedman is a founding scientist of a exciting new brain focused biotechnology company called Envoy Therapeutics, which involves Rare Disease advocate and biotech executive Brad Margus.
The $1 million Astronomy prize was awarded to Professor Frank H. Shu, University Professor of the ten-campus University of California System. The $1 million Mathematical Sciences prize was awarded jointly to Professor Simon K Donaldson, the Royal Society Research Professor of Pure Mathematics at Imperial College London, UK, and Professor Clifford H. Taubes, William Petschek Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, USA for their many brilliant contributions to geometry in 3 and 4 dimensions.