The 2024 Vilcek Foundation Prizes recognize and celebrate immigrant contributions to science, medicine, arts and culture in the United States. In 2024, a total of eight prizes are being awarded to immigrant professionals in two categories—Biomedical Science and Design—with a total award sum of $500,000. The 2024 Prizes comprise the Vilcek Prizes and the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise.
One Vilcek Prize is awarded in each category; the Vilcek Prize is bestowed on immigrant professionals with a legacy of major accomplishment, and whose work has had a profound impact on science or society. Recipients of the Vilcek Prize each receive a commemorative trophy and an unrestricted cash award of $100,000.
Three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are also awarded in each category—Biomedical Science and Design. The Creative Promise Prizes recognize early and mid-career immigrant professionals whose work represents a unique approach or perspective, or has had a significant impact in their field of study or practice. Creative Promise Prizewinners each receive a commemorative certificate and an unrestricted cash award of $50,000.
The 2024 Vilcek Foundation Prizes are awarded to:
- Luciano Marraffini (b. Argentina)
- Ramon Tejada (b. Dominican Republic)
- Gerta Hoxhaj (b. Albania)
- Tomasz Nowakowski (b. Poland)
- Takanori Takebe (b. Japan)
- Wael Morcos (b. Lebanon)
- Juan Carlos Noguera (b. Guatemala)
- Maryam Turkey (b. Iraq)
Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science
Kayden Family Professor and head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology, Rockefeller University; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Born in Argentina
Luciano Marraffini receives the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science for uncovering the molecular mechanisms by which CRISPR-Cas systems provide bacteria with adaptive immunity against viral infections, and for his investigations into applications of CRISPR-Cas for genome editing.
Vilcek Prize in Design
Assistant professor in the Graphic Design Department at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Born in Dominican Republic
Ramon Tejada receives the Vilcek Prize in Design for his leadership and commitment to accessibility and decolonization in design practices, and for his pedagogical approach that centers collaboration, inclusion, and radical innovation.
Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science
Assistant professor, Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at University of Texas, Southwestern
Born in Albania
Gerta Hoxhaj receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for her work on mapping the molecular links between signaling pathways and metabolic networks of cancer cells with a focus on identifying vulnerabilities that could be used to develop targeted therapies.
Associate professor of neurological surgery and anatomy, University of California, San Francisco
Born in Poland
Tomasz Nowakowski receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for the development of technologies to identify and track the regenerative capacity of neural stem cells and neural progenitor cells in the human brain.
Associate professor, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Born in Japan
Takanori Takebe receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for developing vascularized three-dimensional human organoid tissue from pluripotent stem cells that can be transplanted in humans, paving the way for targeted approaches to intractable liver diseases.
Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Design
Partner, Morcos Key; adjunct assistant professor, GSAPP, Columbia University
Born in Lebanon
Wael Morcos receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Design for his approach to typographic and graphic design that incorporates complex cultural and political histories to create socially relevant visual identities and campaigns.
Industrial designer; assistant professor in the School of Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology
Born in Guatemala
Juan Carlos Noguera receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Design for his equitable approach to product design, especially for his work to develop accessible wheelchairs and educational tools that democratize society by promoting social and scientific engagement.
Designer and multimedia artist
Born in Iraq
Maryam Turkey receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Design for her practice that seeks to bridge cultural and societal divides while simultaneously challenging the status quo. Through organic sculptural forms and surfaces, she deconstructs gender norms, revealing a powerful humanity.