A Pakistani scientist and a US scientist received the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Award for International Cooperation Friday in Beijing for their contribution to scientific cooperation between CAS and the rest of the world.
Pakistani Prof. Atta ur Rahman of the University of Karachi and U.S. Prof. Xiao-Fan Wang of Duke University were announced to have won the 2013 award. The two scientists were nominated, respectively, by the Institute of Chemistry of CAS and the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences of CAS.
Prof. Atta ur Rahman, University of Karachi (Image by CAS)
Launched by the academy in 2007, the award honors foreign scientists for their contributions to Sino-foreign research cooperation. The prize is awarded annually by CAS, China’s top academic and research institution for natural sciences.
Born in 1942, Prof. Rahman is a leading organic chemist and scholar in Pakistan. He is especially renowned for his research related to natural product chemistry. Prof. Rahman is the only scientist from the Muslim world to have won the prestigious UNESCO Science Prize (1999), one of his many honors.
As president of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and the Network of Academies of Science of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, as well as regional vice-president of The World Academy of Sciences, Prof. Rahman has made major contributions to promoting cooperation between China and Pakistan. He signed a MoU with CAS on behalf of Pakistan to hold cross-national seminars, expand collaborative research between the two countries, and send young Chinese and Pakistani scholars to study in each other’s countries in order to increase scholarly communication.
Thanks to the platform he created, 59 Pakistan students are now studying at CAS institutions with the support of CAS-TWAS fellowships. Prof. Rahman also initiated a joint-supervision program for Ph.D. students. As a result, about 400 Pakistani students are conducting their doctoral studies in China.
Xiao-Fan Wang, Duke University (Image by CAS)
Prof. Wang is a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at the Duke University School of Medicine. As a renowned onco-molecular biology researcher, Prof. Wang focuses his research primarily on elucidation of the molecular nature and signaling mechanisms associated with the tumor microenvironment in order to understand how tumor progression and metastasis are promoted. He has made important achievements in the study of TGF-ß signaling mechanisms in the context of both cultured cells and animal models.
Prof. Wang leads an innovative research team, comprising scientists from CAS’s Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences and overseas specialists. The team has done research on glucolipid metabolism and related diseases.
As the president of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, Prof. Wang has made unremitting efforts to enhance the academic status of overseas Chinese scientists and help Chinese research institutions recruit and cultivate talent.