SINGAPORE: Professor Jackie Ying flew the Singapore flag high as one of the recipients of the 2015 Mustafa Prize, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) announced on Thursday (Dec 24).
Prof Ying, the Executive Director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR, clinched the inaugural “Top Scientific Achievement” Award for “her great scientific and technological contributions and achievements to the synthesis of well-designed advanced nanostructured materials and systems, nanostructured biomaterials and miniaturised biosystems for various interesting applications”.
Presented biennially by the Iranian government, the Mustafa Prize aims to encourage education and research by playing a pioneering role in developing regional relations between science and technology institutions working in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member countries.
The Mustafa Prize is granted to research that has improved human life and made tangible and cutting-edge innovations on the boundaries of science or has presented new scientific methodology, said A*STAR.
Said the Professor: “I am deeply honored by this award. Research is something that I have been really passionate about. It combines the search for an unknown solution to grand challenges that can impact our lives, with the drive to innovate, translate and commercialise."
"Perhaps the most fulfilling part of the work is the nurturing of young scientists to share my vision and mission to make a difference through our work," added Prof Ying.
According to A*STAR, Prof Ying’s research has led to many new materials and systems with unique functionalities and size-dependent properties that tackle major challenges in medicine, chemistry and energy. These inventions have been applied towards drug delivery, cell and tissue engineering, biosensing and diagnostics, catalysis and pharmaceuticals synthesis, battery and fuel cell systems.
“Among the many novel outcomes of her work, Prof Ying’s contribution to the development of stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles that deliver insulin to diabetic patients only when their blood glucose levels are high, without the need for external blood glucose monitoring, is considered an outstanding scientific approach of great promise for improving the quality of life of mankind in the near future,” said Professor Hossein Zohour, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Mustafa Prize.
The other recipient of the award this year is Prof Omar Yaghi of University of California, Berkeley for the "Nano Science and Nanotechnologies" Award. Both of them will each receive US$500,000 (S$700,000) in prize money and a medal at an award ceremony in Tehran, Iran on Friday.
Besides the “Top Scientific Achievement” and "Nano Science and Nanotechnologies" categories, the Mustafa Prize also recognises achievements in the "Life Science and Medical Sciences”, and "Information and Communication Science and Technologies" categories.