Ten scientists and a German artist were named recipients of Israel’s 2011 Wolf Prize.
The $100,000 prizes, which will be presented in May by Israeli President Shimon Peres during a special Knesset session, were announced Wednesday in Jerusalem by Israeli Minister of Education and Wolf Foundation Council Chair Gideon Sa’ar.
The prize for medicine was awarded to Professors Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan and Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., for creating induced pluripotent stem cells from skin cells and demonstrating that they can be used to cure genetic disease in mice.
Professors Stuart Alan Rice of the University of Chicago, Ching Tang of the University of Rochester and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski of Carnegie Mellon University received the award in chemistry for their contributions to the research field of organic material.
Two scientists received the award in the field of agriculture: Professor Harris Lewin of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was recognized for his contributions to fundamental and practical aspects of animal agriculture, and Professor R. James Cook of Washington State University was named for his discoveries in plant pathology and soil microbiology that impact crop productivity and disease management.
The award for physics went to Professor Maxmilian Haider of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany; Professor Harald Rose of the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany; and Professor Knut Urban of the Research Centre Jilich in Aachen, Germany, for the development of aberration-corrected electron microscopy, allowing the observation of individual atoms with picometer precision.
Painter and sculpture Rosemarie Trockel of Cologne, Germany, was awarded the Wolf Prize for the Arts.
Since 1978, the Wolf Prize has been awarded 28 times to 262 scientists and artists from 23 countries, including 18 from Israel, for “achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples, irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex, or political view.”
The Israel-based Wolf Foundation was established by the late German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist Dr. Ricardo Wolf, who served as the Cuban ambassador to Israel from 1961 to 1973.