The King Faisal Foundation recently held an awards ceremony in Riyadh to recognize the winners of the King Faisal Prize 2023. The prize acknowledges individuals who have made significant contributions to humanity in various fields, including services to Islam, Islamic studies, Arabic language and literature, medicine, and science. The King Faisal Prize is very prestigious in the Muslim world and is awarded annually.
This year, the winners included individuals from the UAE, Morocco, South Korea, the UK, and the US. Among them were COVID-19 vaccine developers, nanotechnology scientists, and experts in Arabic language and literature, Islamic studies, and service to Islam. The prize for service to Islam was jointly awarded to Shaikh Nasser bin Abdullah of the UAE and Professor Choi Young Kil-Hamed from South Korea. The prize for Islamic studies was awarded to Professor Robert Hillenbrand from the UK, and the prize for Arabic language and literature was awarded to Professor Abdelfattah Kilito of Morocco.
The prize for medicine was jointly awarded to Professor Dan Hung Barouch from the US and Professor Sarah Catherine Gilbert from the UK. Barouch's acceptance speech highlighted the robust efficacy of the Ad26 vaccine for COVID-19, which has been rolled out across the world by Johnson & Johnson and has shown continued protection against virus variants. Gilbert expressed feeling honored in joining the other 2023 laureates and recognized the significance of her work in co-creating a low-cost, accessible, and efficacious vaccine for COVID-19 that has now been used in more than 180 countries and has saved millions of lives.
Prince Faisal bin Bandar represented King Salman at the ceremony to award the King Faisal Prize 2023 to the winners at the ceremony held in Riyadh.
The prize for science was jointly awarded to Professor Jackie Yi-Ru Ying and Professor Chad Alexander Mirkin, both from the US. Ying's research focuses on the synthesis of advanced nano materials and systems and their application in biomedicine, energy conversion, and catalysis. Her inventions have been used to solve challenges in different fields of medicine, chemistry, and energy. Her development of “stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles led to a technology that can autoregulate the release of insulin in diabetic patients, without the need for external blood glucose monitoring.” In her acceptance speech, Ying expressed her deep honor in being the first female recipient of the King Faisal Prize in science.
The King Faisal Prize was established in 1977 and has awarded 290 laureates who have made significant contributions to various sciences and causes since then. Each prize laureate is given $200,000 (SR750,000), a 24-carat gold medal weighing 200 grams, a certificate inscribed with the laureate's name and a summary of their work that qualified them for the prize, and a certificate signed by the chairman of the prize board, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.
Professor Jackie Yi-Ru Ying.
Overall, the King Faisal Prize 2023 honorees have served people and enriched humanity with their pioneering work. They deserve to be recognized for their distinguished efforts and contributions to various fields. The ceremony was heldi in Riyadh with King Salman as patron, and Prince Faisal bin Bandar, governor of Riyadh Region, attended the ceremony to hand over the King Faisal Prize to the winners this year.