Academia Sinica president wins Nikkei Asia Prize


TOKYO — Chi-Huey Wong (翁啟惠), president of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, has been named one of the three winners of the Nikkei Asia Prize for his research on glycochemistry, Nihon Keizai Shimbun announced yesterday.

Wong, 63, won in the science, technology and innovation category, the newspaper said, noting that his research has opened the way for the development of new vaccines and medications.

The prize, established by Nihon Keizai Shimbun in 1996, is bestowed to non-Japanese Asians who have contributed to enhancing the welfare of the people in the region.

Jury head Shoichiro Toyoda lauded Wong as the world’s leading expert in glycochemistry and said his research has been widely used to help treat cancer and infectious and immunological diseases.

He also noted that Wong worked at Riken, a major natural science research institute in Japan, between 1991 and 1999, and helped the institute after his return to Taiwan.

“Wong has contributed a great deal to the promotion of Taiwan-Japan exchanges,” he said.

Wong was Taiwan’s sixth recipient of the prize.

Previous Taiwanese winners include Wu Maw-kuen, then director of the Institute of Physics of Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s leading research institution, and Chen Ding-shinn, National Taiwan University professor and a leading researcher on hepatitis. Chang Chun-yen, professor emeritus of National Chiao Tung University; Hsu Wen-lung, founder of Chi Mei Corp.; and Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Co. Chairman Morris Chang, also won the award.