Meet the Shaw Laureates 2020 Meet the Shaw Laureates 2020
 

Laureate Biographies

The Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2020

The Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2020 is awarded to Roger D Blandford, Luke Blossom Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, USA for his foundational contributions to theoretical astrophysics, especially concerning the fundamental understanding of active galactic nuclei, the formation and collimation of relativistic jets, the energy extraction mechanism from black holes, and the acceleration of particles in shocks and their relevant radiation mechanisms.

Roger D Blandford was born in 1949 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom and is currently Luke Blossom Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, USA. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Theoretical Physics and his PhD from Cambridge University, UK in 1970 and 1974 respectively. He was a Charles Kingsley Bye-Fellow at Magdalene College (1972–1973) and Research Fellow at St John’s College (1973–1976), Cambridge University. He then joined California Institute of Technology, USA, where he was successively Assistant Professor (1976–1979), Professor (1979–1989) and Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics (1989–2004). He was the Pehong and Adele Chen Director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) (2003–2013) and Professor of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (2003–2005) at Stanford University, USA. He was also a KIPAC Division Head, PPA Directorate at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (2005–2013). He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

The Shaw Prize in Life Science & Medicine 2020

The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine 2020 is awarded in equal shares to Gero Miesenböck, Peter Hegemann, and Georg Nagel for the development of optogenetics, a technology that has revolutionized neuroscience. They developed tools that allow us to trace and regulate neural networks in experimental animals, giving insight to understanding of the human brain and its functions.

Gero Miesenböck was born in 1965 in Upper Austria and is currently Waynflete Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at the University of Oxford, UK. He received his Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He did postdoctoral research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Research Institute in New York (1992–1998) and remained as an Assistant Member and Head of Laboratory of Neural Systems there (1999–2004). At the same time, he was also an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Genetics at Cornell University, USA. He served as Associate Professor of Cell Biology, Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale University School of Medicine, USA (2004–2007) until he moved to his current position in Oxford. He is a member of the Austrian and German Academies of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Peter Hegemann was born in 1954 in Münster, Germany and is currently the Hertie Professor for Neuroscience and Head of the Department for Biophysics at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. He studied in Chemistry at the University of Münster and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat ät München (LMU Munich) from 1975 to 1980. He received his PhD from Max-Planck Institut (MPI) for Biochemistry, Germany (1984). He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Syracuse University, USA (1985–1986). He then returned to Germany and started a research group at MPI for Biochemistry (1986–1992), after which he became a Professor at the University of Regensburg, Germany (1993–2004) and has been appointed Full Professor (2005–) and Hertie Professor for Neuroscience (2015–) at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina.


@Christian Wiese / University of Würzburg

Georg Nagel was born in 1953 in Weingarten, Germany and is currently a Professor for Molecular Plant-Physiology at the University of Würzburg, Germany. He studied Biology and Biophysics at the University of Konstanz, Germany and received his PhD from the University of Frankfurt, Germany in 1988. After postdoctoral work at Yale University, USA and Rockefeller University, USA, he returned to Germany in 1992, as a group leader in the Department of Biophysical Chemistry at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics. Since 2004, he has been Professor of Molecular Plant-Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Wurzburg.

The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences 2020

The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences 2020 is awarded in equal shares to Alexander Beilinson and David Kazhdan for their huge influence on and profound contributions to representation theory, as well as many other areas of mathematics.

Alexander Beilinson was born in 1957 in Moscow, Russia and is currently the David and Mary Winton Green University Professor at the University of Chicago, USA. He obtained his PhD in 1988 from the Landau Institute of Theoretical Physics, Russia. He was a Researcher at the Landau Institute (1987–1993) and a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (1988–1998) before moving to his present position.

David Kazhdan was born in 1946 in Moscow, Russia and is currently Professor of Mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He received a diploma in 1967 and earned his PhD under Alexandre Kirillov in 1969 from Moscow State University, Russia. After working at Moscow State University as a Researcher (1969–1975), he emigrated to USA to take up a position at Harvard University, where he was successively Visiting Professor (1975–1977), Professor (1977–2002) and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics (2002–). He then emigrated to Israel and has been Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 2002. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.