Presidential Science Prize winners announced

Winners of the Presidential Science Prize were announced Sept. 18 in Taipei City, recognizing the lifelong contributions of the recipients toward advancing scientific research in Taiwan.

Local academics Chen Yuan-tsong, Lee Yuan-pern and Wei Fu-chan beat out four other nominees to claim the biennial honor. They will each receive a certificate, trophy and cash prize of NT$2 million (US$64,516) from President Tsai Ing-wen at a presentation ceremony Oct. 29.

Chen, a distinguished visiting chair at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Taipei-based Academia Sinica, is an expert on human genetics and genomic medicine.

His achievements include developing a recombinant enzyme replacement therapy drug for Pompe disease called Myozyme that received regulatory marketing approval in Europe and the U.S. in 2006.

Lee, a research fellow at Academia Sinica and professor of applied chemistry at National Chiao Tung University in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu City, specializes in the study of free radicals.

In addition to his academic positions, Lee received the Humboldt Research Award in 2017 for his groundbreaking work on ultralow temperature and ultrafast spectroscopy.

Wei, a distinguished chair professor of medicine at Chang Gung University in the northern metropolis of Taoyuan, specializes in reconstructive microsurgery and vascularized composite allotransplantation.

He led the development of a world-leading microsurgical center renowned for its work on cases requiring challenging interventions such as head, neck and chest reconstructions.

Established in 2001, the Presidential Science Prize recognizes research excellence in applied, fundamental, life and mathematic sciences, as well as social studies. It is considered the highest honor for members of Taiwan's scientific community.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)