February 5, 2008 (The New York Sun) – A geneticist from India studying cancer prevention and a Grammy awardwinning Argentinean Jew have won this year’s Vilcek Prizes for arts and science innovation, the Vilcek Foundation announced yesterday.
The foundation was established in 2000 to recognize the contributions of foreignborn scholars and artists to American society.
Inder Verma, an American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology at the Salk Institute in California, was recognized for his work on engineering viruses for gene therapy in an effort to prevent cancer. He has also studied genes linked to breast cancer, and he travels to India every year to advise researchers and students on gene therapy.
Osvaldo Golijov, a descendent of Eastern European Jews who settled in Argentina, was recognized for his work as a composer. Four Mr. Golijov’s albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards, including a recording of chamber music called Yiddishbbuk and an opera album called Ainadamar, which won two Grammy Awards.
Influenced by classical, tango, Jewish liturgical, and klezmer music, Mr. Golijov has also composed pieces for cellist Yo Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony and won a MacArthur Fellowship.
The recipients will be presented with $50,000 in a March 28 ceremony in New York.