PARIS (CNA) — Two biophysical chemists were awarded this year’s Franco-Taiwanese Scientific Grand Prize in Paris Wednesday for their research on the application of fluorescent nanodiamonds in the medical field.
The award, co-founded by the French Academy of Sciences and Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), was awarded to Chang Huan-cheng (張煥正) and Francois Treussart.
Chang, a researcher at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences of Academia Sinica, is a pioneer in the field of fluorescent nanodiamonds, a form of synthetic diamonds that emit fluorescent light.
The research team uses the diamonds to track the movements of cells such as stem cells and cancer cells, Chang told CNA, adding that in the future, they plan to use the technology to stimulate the production of antibodies, achieving the effect of a vaccine.
Treussart, a professor at the École Normale Supérieure Paris- Saclay in France, has been working with fluorescent nanodiamonds for over a decade.
Speaking to reporters, he praised researchers in Taiwan for their efficiency in brainstorming and executing ideas, and said that innovation is definitely one of Taiwan’s advantages in scientific research.
The award, which carries a cash prize of 38,200 euros (NT$1.3 million), was presented to the two scientists by MOST Vice Minister Tsou Yu-han (鄒幼涵), Taiwan’s top envoy to France Francois Chih-chung Wu (吳志中), French Academy of Sciences President Pierre Corvol and the academy’s Vice President Olivier Pironneau.
The Franco-Taiwanese Scientific Grand Prize is an annual award that has been given to researchers in France and Taiwan since 1999. It can be given to scientists in any field but prioritizes research that facilitates collaboration between Taiwan and France.