Riyadh, 20 February 2016: Spanning the fields of science, literature and Islamic thought, the seven recipients of this year’s King Faisal International Prize – the most prestigious award in the Islamic world – have been announced and the great news is that a US-American Professor Vamsi Krishna Mootha has got the award in the field of science!
Vamsi Krishna Mootha is the Professor of Systems Biology at the Harvard Medical School, Cambridge and he has used the mitochondrion (the cellular power plant) as a model to identify the link between pivotal molecular factors involved in mitochondrial dysfunction and major human diseases such as diabetes and other metabolic disorders. His contribution provides a framework for novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
The 2016 laureates will go to Saudi Arabia in March and receive their awards at a ceremony in Riyadh attended by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Executive President of awarding body, the King Faisal Foundation, and many other Saudi dignitaries.
Prizes are awarded each year in five categories: Medicine, Science, Service to Islam, Islamic Studies, and Arabic Language and Literature. This year’s winners are:
King Faisal International Prize for Medicine
Jointly awarded to Professor Han Grrit Brunner (Professor of Medical Genetics at the Radboud University, part of Nijmegen Medical Center) and Professor Joris Andre Veltman (Professor of Translational Genomics at Radboud University), both of whom are from the Netherlands, for their research into the clinical application of next generation genetics.
King Faisal International Prize for Science
Jointly awarded to the UK’s Professor Stephen P. Jackson (Professor of Cancer Research at the Gurdon Institute) and US-Indian Professor Vamsi K. Mootha (Professor of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School), for biological research.
King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam
Sheikh Dr Saleh Abdullah bin Humaid (Saudi Arabia) – Consultant, Saudi Royal Court; Member of the Commission of Senior Religious Scholars, Imam and Preacher of the Holy Mosque in Makkah and President of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy Jeddah – who was recognized for his leadership and commitment to Islamic understanding and education.
King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies
Awarded to Professor Abdullah bin Yousif Al-Ghunaim (Kuwait) – President of the Kuwaiti Studies and Research Center – for his study of Muslim Geography Heritage.
King Faisal International Prize for Arabic Language and Literature
Jointly awarded to Professor Muhammad Muftah (Morocco) and Professor Mohammad Abdul Muttalib (Egypt), in recognition of their analysis of Arab poetic texts.
The King Faisal International Prize was inaugurated in 1979 to commemorate the late King Faisal’s commitment to humanitarian causes, and to recognize significant contributions made by the Muslim world to human progress.