Daily Israel Report

Winners of Prestigious Wolf Prize Announced

Israeli Minister of Education and Wolf Foundation Council Chair, Mr. Gideon Sa'ar, has announced the recipients of the 2010 Wolf Prizes.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 2/1/2010, 10:35 PM / Last Update: 2/1/2010, 10:52 PM

Israeli Minister of Education and Wolf Foundation Council Chair, Mr. Gideon Sa'ar, has announced the recipients of the 2010 Wolf Prizes.

The Wolf Prize in Medicine will be awarded to Axel Ullrich of Germany for groundbreaking cancer research that has led to development of new targeted biologic drugs such as Herceptin, for both adjuvant care and metastatic treatment of specific types of breast cancer.

The Wolf Prize in Agriculture will go to Sir David Baulcombe of Cambridge University for research on "gene silencing", a means by which plants defend themselves from viruses. Baulcombe was knighted in 2009, and served as the president of the International Society of Plant Molecular Biology.

The Wolf Prize in Mathematics will be shared by Harvard professor Shing-Tung Yau for his work in geometric analysis, and to Stony Brook University professor Dennis Sullivan for contributions to algebraic topology and conformal dynamics.

The Wolf Prize in Physics was shared by US professor John F. Clauser, French professor Alain Aspect and Austrian professor Anton Zeilinger for their work in quantum physics.

The Wolf Prize is an international award given in Israel by the Wolf Foundation almost every year since 1978. The Wolf Foundation was founded by Dr. Ricardo Wolf, a German-born inventor and former Cuban ambassador to Israel under the motto "to promote science and art for the benefit of mankind". Each prize consists of a diploma and $100,000. The prizes are awarded in the fields of Agriculture, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, and Arts. 

The winners of this year's prize will receive their awards from President Shimon Peres on May 13.

Announcing the winners, Sa'ar noted that one out of every three Wolf Prize winners in medicine, physics, and chemistry later went on to receive the Nobel Prize. The Wolf Prize is considered only slightly less prestigious than the Nobel Prize.

The Wolf Foundation has awarded prizes to 253 people from 23 countries (including 18 Israelis) since 1978.