HFSP Nakasone Award
The HFSP Nakasone Award for Frontier Research
2016 HFSP Nakasone Award
The idea for the establishment of the prestigious HFSP Nakasone Award was proposed in Tokyo in July 2009 during the HFSP 20th anniversary celebrations in the presence of former Prime Minister Nakasone. The award honours the vision of former Prime Minister Nakasone for his efforts to launch a program of support for international collaboration and to foster early career scientists in a global context. Mr. Nakasone presented the idea of HFSP at the G7 economic summit in Venice in 1987 and, after an intense phase of preparation, the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization was established in Strasbourg, France in the autumn of 1989 to implement the Program. Since then it has supported approximately 6000 scientists from 70 countries, 25 of whom have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.
The HFSP Nakasone Award is designed to honour scientists who have undertaken frontier-moving research in biology, encompassing conceptual, experimental or technological breakthroughs. Both senior and junior scientists are eligible and peer-recognised excellence is the major criterion for selection. However the jury will pay particular attention to recent breakthroughs by younger scientists.
Awardees receive an unrestricted research grant of USD 10,000, a medal and a personalised certificate. The award ceremony will be held at the annual HFSP Awardees Meeting where the awardee will deliver the HFSP Nakasone Lecture. The prize is open to all scientists, not only those who have received funding within the HFSP.
Proposers should take into account the following points when choosing nominees:
- The award is given on the basis of excellence in research in fields of the life sciences normally supported by HFSP, as defined by its mission to support research into the “complex mechanisms of living organisms”. Areas have traditionally ranged from molecular and cellular approaches to biological functions to systems neuroscience including cognitive functions. However, all levels of complexity involving mechanisms of biological phenomena or the interactions between organisms will be considered.
- The research field must be within HFSP's scope of funding in BASIC research.
- The award is given for a clearly defined breakthrough identifiable by specific publications, not for a life-time achievement.
- Over time the scope of the awards is expected to represent the broad range of topics typical of HFSP funding. Former winners are listed below.
- Priority will be given to younger scientists in cases where more than one excellent candidate is under consideration.
- Co-authors on breakthrough papers may be jointly nominated, but separate nominations for the same breakthrough will not be considered.
- Self-nominations are not accepted.
- While nominations for one scientist may be counter-signed and submitted by several parties, there is no advantage to submitting several nominations for the same person. Multiple nominations will be merged for the purpose of the review.
- Members of the HFSP Board of Trustees and Council of Scientists are not eligible for nomination and may not nominate candidates in order to avoid a perception of conflict of interest. The current members may be consulted here: Board of Trustees; Council of Scientists.
2015 James Collins from Boston University, USA for his innovative work on synthetic gene networks and programmable cells.
2014 Uri Alon from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel for his ground-breaking work on network motifs.
2013 Stephen Quake from Stanford University, USA for his pioneering work advancing biological measurement techniques.
2012 Gina Turrigiano from Brandeis University, Waltham, USA for introducing the concept of homeostatic synaptic plasticity.
2011 Michael Elowitz from the California Institute of Technology, USA for his key studies on gene expression noise.
2010 Karl Deisseroth from Stanford University, USA for his pioneering work on the application of microbial opsins as "optogenetic" tools in neurobiology.