The Wolf Foundation today announced that Academia Sinica President Chi-huey Wong has been awarded the 2014 Wolf Prize in Chemistry in recognition of his “numerous original contributions to the programmable and practical synthesis of complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins.”
The Wolf Foundation was founded by Ricardo Subirana y Lobo Wolf (1887-1981) and his wife Francisca in Israel in 1976. The foundation established the Wolf Prize in 1978. The prizes are awarded annually to those who have made outstanding contributions in the Sciences of Arts. Five or six prizes are awarded each year in the Sciences in Agriculture, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine and Physics. In the Arts, the prize rotates annually among Architecture, Music, Painting and Sculpture. The Wolf Prize award ceremony is held in Jerusalem, Israel and the awards are bestowed by the President of Israel.
Former Academia Sinica Vice President Shang-Fa Yang was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture in 1991, and the Wolf Prize in Mathematics was awarded to Academia Sinica Academician Shing-Tung Yau in 2010. President Wong is the first scholar who lives and works in Taiwan to receive the award.
Dr. Wong was elected President of Academia Sinica in 2006. He is the ninth President of Academia Sinica. He was re-elected to the presidency for a second term in 2010. Dr. Wong’s research has led to advances in carbohydrate chemistry and biology associated with cancer progression, bacterial and viral infection and immunological function and the development of vaccines, therapeutics and glycan microarrays for the analysis of protein-carbohydrate interaction. President Wong has conducted research in the areas of bioorganic and synthetic chemistry and glycoscience for over 40 years, and has made many original research contributions. He and his colleagues were the first to develop chemoenzymatic methods for the practical synthesis of oligosaccharides and glycoproteins and the first to develop an automated programmable one-pot synthesis of oligosaccharides, the only automated approach for the synthesis of oligosaccharides. Recently, Dr. Wong’s group has made several important discoveries in the area of glycoscience including, the synthesis of cancer vaccines, sugar chips, and advances in anti-viral and anti-bacterial research, making him an undisputed world leader in the field. His work has enabled our understanding of carbohydrates in biology and created new opportunities in medicine. Dr. Wong has published more than 700 academic research papers, obtained more than 100 patents, and published four reference books.
Among his many accolades, Dr. Chi-Huey Wong was elected an Academician of Academia Sinica in 1994, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2002, a member of the World Academy of Sciences in 2007, and an Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2010. During his career, he has received numerous awards, including The American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Award (2012), the society’s highest honor, the IUPAC International Carbohydrate Award (1994), the International Enzyme Engineering Award (1999), the US Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2000), the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (2005), the F.A. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research (2008), the Humboldt Research Award for Senior Scientists, Germany (2006), and the Nikkei Asia Prize for Science, Technology and Innovation (2012). Dr. Chi-Huey Wong currently serves as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Executive Yuan of the ROC. He was the Ernest Hahn Professor of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in the United States, Head of the Frontier Research Program on Glycotechnology at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Japan (1991-1999), Scientific Advisor for the Max-Plank-Institut at Dortmund, Germany (2000-2008), and a board member of the US National Research Council on Chemical Sciences and Technology (2000-2004). He was also Editor-in-Chief of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry and Chairman of the Executive Board of Editors of Tetrahedron Publications.