The Vilcek Foundation is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2023 Vilcek Foundation Prizes in Biomedical Science. Totaling $250,000 in awards, the prizes honor the contributions of foreign-born scientists to scientific research, discovery, and innovation, and raise awareness of the value of immigration for intellectual and cultural life in the United States.
The Vilcek Foundation Prizes in Biomedical Science comprise the Vilcek Prize and three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise. Join us in congratulating the recipients of the 2023 prizes:
- Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado (b. Venezuela)
- Edward Chouchani (b. Canada)
- Biyu J. He (b. China)
- Shixin Liu (b. China)
Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science
The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science recognizes an immigrant scientist whose career achievements represent a legacy of major accomplishment, and whose work will have a lasting impact in their field. The prize includes a cash award of $100,000 and a commemorative trophy.
Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado receives the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science for his contributions to the field of regeneration—from the identification of crucial genes that control regeneration in living organisms, to the potential for regenerative medicine to address how we treat disease in humans. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Sánchez Alvarado immigrated to the United States to pursue his bachelor’s at Vanderbilt University, before going on to complete his PhD in pharmacology and cell biophysics at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Sánchez Alvarado is executive director and chief scientific officer of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science are awarded to immigrant scientists whose early-career work demonstrates outstanding achievement and has the potential to leave a significant impact on their field. Prizewinners each receive a cash award of $50,000, and a commemorative certificate. Edward Chouchani, Biyu J. He, and Shixin Liu are the recipients of the 2023 Creative Promise Prizes.
Edward Chouchani receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for his work to decipher the molecular mechanisms that drive metabolic disease, with the aim of developing therapeutic interventions targeted at the molecular drivers of metabolism within cells. Chouchani is an associate professor of cancer biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an associate professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School. He is a cofounder and board member of Matchpoint Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the development of precision medicine. Born in Ottawa, Canada, Chouchani earned his bachelor’s at Carleton University and his PhD in biological sciences at the University of Cambridge.
Biyu J. He receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for her research leadership in the field of cognitive neuroscience, and for her groundbreaking work on the biological bases of perceptual cognition and subjective experience. She is the principal investigator of the Perception and Brain Dynamics Laboratory at NYU Langone Health, and an assistant professor of neurology, neuroscience and psychology, and radiology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Born in Xinxiang, China, Biyu J. He immigrated to the United States to pursue her PhD in neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis.
Shixin Liu receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise for applying cutting-edge biophysical tools to directly visualize, manipulate, and understand the physiological function of nanometer-scale biomolecular machines including DNA replication and transcription complexes at the single-molecule level. Liu is an associate professor at The Rockefeller University, where he has been the head of the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biophysics and Biochemistry since 2016. Born in Anhui province in China, he immigrated to the United States to pursue his PhD in chemistry at Harvard University.