Riyadh, March 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Two mathematicians and a scientist were among seven winners of this year’s King Faisal Prize who received their awards on March 29 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for enriching humanity with key and invaluable achievements and discoveries, and excelled in the fields of medicine, science, Arabic language and literature, and service to Islam.
The Medicine Prize was awarded to Professor David Liu, Professor Richard Merkin and Director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, who invented the first gene “base editor” in 2016.
This technology laid the groundwork to eventually treat thousands of genetic diseases like sickle cell disease and muscular dystrophy. Professor David Liu used “base editors” in mice to correct the genetic mutation that causes progeria, a rare disease characterized by premature aging, delayed development and early death. Yet there is still work to be done before gene “base editors” can be used in humans.
Starting a revolution in genome editing, “core editors” have received strong global demand. They have been distributed over 9,000 times to over 3,000 laboratories worldwide. Scientists have been able to publish more than 300 articles on this technique, used in different organisms ranging from bacteria to mice.
“Basic editing” is a method of precise genome editing; like a genetic pencil, which rewrites the basic letters of DNA, which cause genetic mutations and potentially genetic diseases. This technology, which is in constant development, chemically rewrites one DNA base onto another by rearranging the atoms of one DNA base to resemble a different base. In 2019, Professor David Liu created with his team the “first cut” which offers more targeting flexibility and higher precision of cut.
With more than 75 issued patents in the United States, Prof. Liu was called a “gene-editor” by Nature magazine at the top of its “Ten People Who Mattered This Year” list in 2017 and was included in the “List of Global Thinkers in Foreign Policy”. He is also a biotech entrepreneur, co-founder of “Editas Medicine”, which uses CRISPR (genome editing tool) therapies to “discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize transformative, sustainable and precise genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. “.
The Science Prize (Mathematics) was awarded jointly to Professor Martin Hairer, Professor of Probability and Stochastic Analysis in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College, and Professor Nader Masmoudi, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University from New York to Abu Dhabi and director of its Center for Research on Stability, Instability and Turbulence.
Professor Martin Hairer developed the theory of regularity structures which gave precise mathematical meaning to several equations which were previously outside the scope of mathematical analysis. He published his theory in 2014, providing tools and manuals for solving many previously incomprehensible equations called stochastic partial differential equations (SPDE). These equations involve chance and describe how chance perturbs different phenomena such as the draw, changes in stock prices, the movement of wind in a tunnel, or the growth of forest fires. He transformed the field of SPDEs by introducing new fundamental techniques and was able to solve equations like the KPZ equation which describes the evolution of the boundary at which two substances meet over time.
Professor Hairer is a world leader in probability theory and analysis and is the author of a monograph and over 100 research papers. His work has been recognized with several prizes and awards, including the LMS Whitehead and Philip Leverhulme Prizes in 2008, the Fermat Prize in 2013, the Fröhlich Prize and the Fields Medal in 2014, a Knighthood in 2016, and the Breakthrough in Mathematics Prize. . in 2020.
As for Professor Nader Masmoudi, he has been able to unravel the mystery around many physics problems that have remained unsolved for centuries. He found a flaw in “Euler’s” mathematical equations which, for more than two centuries, described the movements of fluids under all circumstances. He discovered that Euler’s equations do not apply to all circumstances, as previously thought, and proved that they could break or fail under certain fluid-related conditions. His work has helped to solve and understand many problems related to fluid modeling like weather forecasting and aircraft turbulence.
Over the past 20 years, Professor Masmoudi’s research has been at the forefront of partial differential equations, fluid mechanics and dynamical systems. He has been cited in more than 8000 articles for his work in pure and applied mathematics. He has been awarded numerous prizes, including the prize for the best scientific article at the Annales de l’Institut Henri Poincaré, a chair from the Fondation Sciences Mathématiques de Paris, the Fermat prize and the Schlumberger chair from IHES in Paris.
In addition to medicine and science, this year’s King Faisal Prize recognized the achievements of outstanding thinkers and scholars in the field of Arabic language and literature, and honored exemplary leaders who played a pivotal role in the service of Islam, Muslims and humanity in general.
The Arabic Language and Literature Prize on “Arabic Literature Studies in English” was awarded to Professor Suzanne Stetkevych, Chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, and Professor Muhsin Al-Musawi, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literary Studies at Columbia University.
Professor Suzanne Stetkevych received the award for her extensive research and work analyzing Arabic literature with unrivaled depth from the pre-Islamic period to the revivalist period. His research approach led to the renewal of the critical perspective and methods of studying classical Arabic poetry.
Professor Muhsin Al-Musawi received the award for being a well-established authority in the field of Arabic literature demonstrating his encyclopedic knowledge in classical and modern Arabic literature. His research and studies have had a great impact on students and researchers in the field of Arabic studies, both in the Arab world and in the West. He treated Arabic literature as world literature.
The Service to Islam Prize was awarded to former Tanzanian President His Excellency Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Professor Hassan Mahmoud Al Shafei. His Excellency Ali Hassan Mwinyi has actively participated in the defense of Islam, spreading the spirit of religious tolerance, educating Muslims and translating many Islamic resources and references into the Swahili language. At the same time, Professor Hassan Mahmoud Alshafei served the Islamic sciences through teaching, writing, authentication and translation, and contributed to the establishment of the International Islamic University of Islamabad and the development of the programs of its colleges.
The Islamic Studies Prize for this year on “The Islamic Heritage of Al-Andalus” has been suspended because the nominated works did not meet the criteria for the prize.
Since 1979, the King Faisal Prize in its 5 different categories has recognized 282 laureates from 44 different nationalities who have made distinguished contributions to different sciences and causes. Each laureate is endowed with 200,000 USD; a 24-karat gold medal weighing 200 grams, and a certificate bearing the winner’s name and a summary of their work that qualified them for the award.
2022 King Faisal Award Ceremony
2022 King Faisal Award Ceremony