the world academy of sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries


13 December 2017

Winners of 2018 TWAS Prizes announced

TWAS has announced the winners of the TWAS Prizes for 2018 in Trieste, Italy.

TWAS Prizes are awarded in nine fields: Agricultural Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Mathematics, Medical Sciences, Physics, and Social Sciences. This year, there are 12 prize winners: one from Argentina; two from Brazil; three from China; two from India; one from Kenya; one from Mexico; one from South Africa and one from Turkey. The prize winners include four women.

Each TWAS Prize carries a cash award of USD15,000. The winners will lecture about their research at TWAS's 28th General Meeting in 2018, when they will also receive a plaque and the prize money.

Agricultural Sciences

  • ZHANG Dabing of China, for his fundamental contribution to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the morphogenesis of the inflorescence, flowers, and anthers in higher plants, particularly in rice.


  • Luisa Lina VILLA of Brazil, for her outstanding contribution to the prevention of human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections in women and men through development of HPV vaccines and cervical cancer screening in Brazil.


  • Thalappil PRADEEP of India, for his discovery of novel nanomaterials and development of products using such materials, leading to applications which support a clean environment, affordable clean water and ultrasensitive devices.

Earth, Astronomy and Space Sciences (Shared)

  • ZHAO Guochun of China, for his contribution to our understanding of continental collisional tectonics in the early history of Earth and the assembly of supercontinent Columbia ~1.8 billion years ago.
  • Alejandro RAGA of Mexico, for his outstanding contribution to the theoretical understanding of outflows from young stars, and of star formation in general.   

Engineering Sciences (Shared)

  • TSENG Yu-Chee of Taiwan, China, for significant contributions to wireless and mobile networks.
  • Sanghamitra BANDYOPADHYAY of India, for her outstanding contributions in computational biology, multiobjective optimization and genetic algorithm-based classification and clustering techniques.


  • Ricardo Guillermo DURÁN of Argentina, for his contribution to the development and understanding of mixed and non-conforming finite element methods for partial differential equations.

Medical Sciences (Shared)

  • Lynn MORRIS of South Africa, for her pioneering studies on the neutralizing antibody response to HIV infection that has provided fundamental insights for HIV vaccine development.
  • Seza ÕZEN of Turkey, for her contribution to the understanding of autoinflammatory diseases and Familial Mediterranean Fever.


  • Daniel Mario UGARTE of Brazil, for his pioneering work in characterising electronic and structural properties of nanosystems, including seminal contributions to the study of carbon nanostructures and atomic-size metal wires.

Social Sciences (Shared)

  • Alex Chika EZEH of Kenya, for his vitally important demographic studies of African population, health and education, which provide essential insights into sustainable development.
  • LIU Yansui of China, for his contribution to improve government policies for rural development through innovation in rural land-use and targeted poverty-alleviation strategies in China.
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