Dr. Samuel Yin established the Tang Prize in December 2012 to encourage individuals across the globe to chart the middle path to achieving sustainable development by recognizing and supporting scholars for conducting revolutionary research in the four major fields of
Tthe Rule of Law.
The Tang Prize is truly global in reach, with laureates selected on the basis of the originality of their research along with their contributions to society irrespective of their nationality or ethnicity.
The prize is named after China’s Tang Dynasty (618-907), which is much admired by Yin.
The dynasty has inspired generation after generation with admiration for its vibrant characteristics of self-confidence and cosmopolitan inclusiveness, which are the qualities that the Tang Prize seeks to promote
The winner in each category will receive Tw$50 million ($1.7 million), compared to the eight million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million) that comes with a Nobel Prize.
Tang prize – 2014
2014 Tang Prize in Sustainable Development
The 2014 Tang Prize in Sustainable Development is awarded to Gro Harlem Brundltand for her innovation, leadership and implementation of sustainable development that laid out the scientific and technical challenges for the global community to achieve a better balance of economic development, environmental integrity, and social equality for the benefit of all humanity.
Under the leadership of Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), better known as the “Brundtland Commission” published its history-making report “Our Common Future” in 1987 as a culmination of an international effort involving hundreds of experts and stakeholders. The term Sustainable Development was coined in the report and defined as follows:
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
This watershed concept definition laid out the scientific and technical challenges for the global community in the effort to strike a better balance of economic development, environmental integrity, and social equality.
The direct result of the Brundtland report was the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janero, Brazil. Brundtland and members of her Commission played key roles at the Summit. Among other results, the Summit produced a comprehensive plan known as “Agenda 21,” which provided guided actions to be taken globally, nationally, and locally in order to make life on Earth more sustainable. The summit also initiated the most important international agreement for climate change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which led to the Kyoto Protocol. The Brundtland Report and Earth Summit have continued to influence subsequent UN conferences including United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the Conference of Parties (COP) meetings.
In 2007, she was assigned as United Nation (UN) Special Envoy on Climate Change to assist the Secretary-General to progress the international negotiation among governments and organizations towards a Post-Kyoto Protocol Climate Change Treaty. In 2010, she was a member of UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, which provided the report “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing” will continue to inspire action towards “The Future We Want” adopted at Rio+20, and to suggest options for a sustainable future for humanity.
During her tenure as the Director-General of the World Health Organization (1998-2003), she focused on promoting sustainable and equitable health systems in all countries to combat disease and ill-health. Under her leadership, the WHO addressed effectively global pandemics such as AIDS, malaria, and SARS.
Dubbed the “Godmother of Sustainable Development,” Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland has been the global leader in promoting sustainable development for the benefit of humanity for more than 30 years.
2014 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science
The 2014 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science is awarded to James P. Allison and
Tasuku Honjo for the discoveries of CTLA-4 and PD-1 as immune inhibitory molecules that led to their applications in cancer immunotherapy
A critical process in the immune response involves presentation of antigens to T cells by antigen-presenting cells, two key cell types in our immune system. This process is highly regulated by molecules that stimulate the response to ensure our mounting a sufficient immune response, especially in the event of invasion by pathogens, but also by molecules that inhibit the process to ensure the response is not excessive. Indeed, there is now a family of proteins on T cells involved in this regulatory process, which is designated the “CD28 receptor family” co-receptors, as CD28 is the first protein identified to have such function. They are divided into co-receptors transmitting stimulatory signals and co-receptors transmitting inhibitory signals. Each of these has its counterpart (ligand) on antigen-presenting cells belonging to the “B7 family”. Two most prominent inhibitory receptors on T cells are called CTLA-4 (cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4, as it is first identified on cytotoxic T lymphocytes) and PD-1 (program death-1, as it is first identified to be associated with a type of cell death process
called programmed cell death). Their ligands are designated as B7-1/B7-2 and PD-L1/PD-L2, respectively. These are also referred to as immune checkpoint receptors and ligands.
Dr. James Allison, Chairman, Department of Immunology and Executive Director, Immunotherapy Platform at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, is one of two scientists to identify CTLA-4 as an inhibitory receptor on T-cells in 1995 and was the first to recognize it as a potential target for cancer therapy. His team then developed an antibody that blocks CTLA-4 activity and showed in 1996 that this antibody is able to help reject several different types of tumors in mouse models. This subsequently led to development of a monoclonal antibody drug, which has undergone clinical trials against stage 4 melanoma and been approved for treatment of melanoma by the U.S. FDA in 2011.
This is an exciting time in our fight against cancer. The discoveries by Dr. Allison and Dr. Honjo have spurred additional development of therapeutic approaches along the line of immunotherapy and brought new hope that many types of cancers can be cured.
In addition, dysregulation in immune checkpoint pathways may be intimately involved in other illnesses, such as allergy, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases. Thus, the approach of targeting immune stimulatory and inhibitory molecules also promises to lead to the development of new therapies for these diseases.
Dr. Allison’s and Dr. Honjo’s discoveries have opened a new therapeutic era in medicine.
2014 Tang Prize in Sinology
The 2014 Tang Prize in Sinology is awarded to Yu Ying-shih for his mastery of and insight into Chinese intellectual, political, and cultural history with an emphasis on his profound research into the history of public intellectuals in China.
With an illustrious academic career spanning over half a century, Professor Yu has reinterpreted the tradition of thought in China and revived the importance of intellectual history by shedding new light on the value, richness, and current significance of Chinese culture. Like the Grand Historian Sima Qian, Professor Yu has left no stone unturned in his “thorough investigation into the interplay of heaven and earth,” allowing him “to understand changes of the past and present” in order to forge his own theories. In short, Yu Ying-shih not only exemplifies all the qualities of the public intellectuals in his studies but also embodies the traditional philosophy of historians in China.
2014 Tang Prize in Rule of Law
The 2014 Tang Prize in Rule of Law is awarded to Albie Sachs for his many contributions to human rights and justice globally through an understanding of the rule of law in which the dignity of all persons is respected and the strengths and values of all communities are embraced, in particular through his efforts in the realization of the rule of law in a free and democratic South Africa, working as activist, lawyer, scholar, and framer of a new Constitution to heal the divisions of the past and to establishing a society that respects diversity and is based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.