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ACS members receive inaugural VinFuture Prizes

by Alexandra A. Taylor
January 29, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 4


Two American Chemical Society members have been honored with inaugural VinFuture Prizes. The awards program was established by the VinFuture Foundation to honor innovation in science and technology.

Omar Yaghi
Credit: Courtesy of Omar Yaghi
Omar Yaghi

The special prize dedicated to “innovators with outstanding achievements in emerging fields” was awarded to Omar Yaghi, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Yaghi was honored for his discovery of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and his MOF water harvester specifically.

Zhenan Bao.
Credit: Courtesy of Zhenan Bao
Zhenan Bao

A second special prize dedicated to “female innovators” was awarded to Zhenan Bao, professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University. Bao was recognized for her work on flexible electronics that mimic the sensing abilities of human skin, which have implications for medical diagnosis and health care.

Other awardees included Katalin Karikó, Drew Weissman, and Pieter Cullis, who received the grand prize for their work on mRNA technology; and Salim Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, who received a special prize dedicated to “innovators from developing countries” for their work on effective HIV prevention.

Awardees were honored at a ceremony on Jan. 20 in Hanoi, Vietnam.


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