Meet the Shaw Laureates 2016

“Meet the Shaw Laureates 2016 -
The challenges and the joy of doing science"
Popular Science Forum


Laureate Biographies


The Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2016 Laureates


The Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2016 is awarded in equal shares to Ronald W P Drever, Kip S Thorne and Rainer Weiss for conceiving and designing the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), whose recent direct detection of gravitational waves opens a new window in astronomy, with the first remarkable discovery being the merger of a pair of stellar mass black holes.

Professor Ronald W P Drever
Ronald W P Drever was born in 1931 in Bishopton, Glasgow, UK and is Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA. He received his Bachelor of Science in 1953 and his PhD in Natural Philosophy in 1958 from the University of Glasgow, UK. He served as a Visiting Associate in 1977 and was successively Professor (1979–2002) and Professor Emeritus (2002– ) at Caltech. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Professor Ronald W P Drever



Professor Kip S Thorne
Kip S Thorne was born in 1940 in Logan, Utah, USA and is the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Caltech in 1962 and his PhD in Physics from Princeton University, USA in 1965. He returned to Caltech, first as a Research Fellow (1966–1967), and then successively as Associate Professor (1967–1970), Professor in Theoretical Physics in 1970, the William R Kenan, Jr. Professor (1981–1991), the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics (1991–2009), and the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus (2009– ). He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



Professor Kip S Thorne



Professor Rainer Weiss
Rainer Weiss was born in 1932 in Berlin, Germany and is currently Professor Emeritus in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physics in 1955 and his PhD in Physics in 1962 from MIT. He was an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Physics at Tufts University, USA from 1960 to 1961 and from 1961 to 1962 respectively. He served as Research Associate in Physics at Princeton University, USA from 1962 to 1964. He then joined MIT, where in the Department of Physics he was successively Assistant Professor (1964–1967), Associate Professor (1967–1973), Professor (1973–2001) and Professor Emeritus (2001– ). He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



Professor Rainer Weiss
 
The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine 2016 Laureates

The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine 2016 is awarded in equal shares to Adrian P Bird and Huda Y Zoghbi for their discovery of the genes and the encoded proteins that recognize one chemical modification of the DNA of chromosomes that influences gene control as the basis of the developmental disorder Rett syndrome.

Professor Adrian P Bird
Adrian P Bird was born in 1947 in Wolverhampton, UK and is currently the Buchanan Professor of Genetics at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex in 1970 and his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh in 1972. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Yale and University of Zurich (1972–1975). He joined the MRC Mammalian Genome Unit (1975–1986) and then moved to Vienna, where he served as a Senior Scientist in the Research Institute for Molecular Pathology (1987–1990). He has held the Buchanan Chair of Genetics at the University of Edinburgh since 1990. He helped create the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology in Edinburgh and became its Director (1999–2011). Subsequently, he served as a Governor (2000–2010) of the Wellcome Trust including a term as Deputy Chairman (2007–2010). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and Edinburgh and the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK.
Professor Adrian P Bird
 


Professor Huda Y Zoghbi
Huda Y Zoghbi was born in 1954 in Beirut, Lebanon and is currently Professor of Pediatrics & Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Director of Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biology from American University of Beirut, Lebanon in 1975 and her MD from Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee, USA in 1979. She was a medical resident of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital (1979–1982) and then a Postdoctoral Fellow at Baylor College of Medicine (1982–1988). From 1988, she was successively Assistant Professor (1988–1991), Associate Professor (1991–1994) and Professor (1994–) in the Department of Pediatrics of Baylor College of Medicine. She has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, USA.


Professor Huda Y Zoghbi
 
The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences 2016 Laureate



The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences 2016 is awarded to Nigel J Hitchin for his far-reaching contributions to geometry, representation theory and theoretical physics. The fundamental and elegant concepts and techniques that he has introduced have had wide impact and are of lasting importance.

Professor Nigel J Hitchin
Nigel J Hitchin was born in 1946 in Holbrook, Derbyshire, UK and is currently the Savilian Professor of Geometry at the University of Oxford, UK. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Jesus College, University of Oxford, in 1968 and his PhD in Mathematics from Wolfson College, University of Oxford, in 1972. He was a Research Assistant at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA (1971–1973) and a Courant Institute Instructor in New York University (1973–1974). He returned to University of Oxford in 1974 and served as a Junior Research Fellow (1974–1977) and Research Fellow (1977–1979) at Wolfson College. He became Tutor in Mathematics at St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford in 1979 and was appointed Professor at the University of Warwick in 1990. He served as the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge (1994–1997) and then returned to University of Oxford serving as the Savilian Professor of Geometry since 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.
Professor Nigel Hitchin