Professor Malik Peiris and Professor Yuen Kwok-yung from the University of Hong Kong have won the ‘Life Science Prize’ under the 2021 Future Science Prize.
It was announced in Beijing that the two University of Hong Kong medical experts, Peiris, the Chair Professor of Virology at the School of Public Health, and Yuen, the Chair Professor of the Department of Microbiology, had won the award, along with its monetary reward of USD 1 million.
They were applauded for their discoveries of SARS-CoV-1 as the causative agent for the global SARS outbreak in 2003 and its zoonotic origin, which helped combat Covid-19 and emerging infectious diseases.
Prof. Malik Peiris is a Sri Lankan pathologist and virologist. He has been long based in Hong Kong. His research interests include ecology, evolution, pathogenesis, epidemiology of animal-human influenza, and other human respiratory viral infections, authoring over 320 research publications.
The Future Science Prize, also dubbed as the ‘Chinese Nobel’, is a privately funded science prize established by a group of renowned scientists and entrepreneurs in 2016 to promote scientific breakthroughs and innovations in the Greater China region including mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
The Prize is given in three categories with US$1 million of prize money for each award — namely Life Science Prize, Physical Science Prize, and Mathematics and Computer Science Prize.
(Pic: Professor Malik Peiris)