The New York City-based Vilcek Foundation has announced the winners of the 2018 Vilcek Prizes, which are awarded annually to call attention to the breadth of immigrant contributions to the arts and sciences in the United States.
The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science was awarded to Russian-born immunologist Alexander Rudensky, chair of the immunology program at the Sloan Kettering Institute, while the Vilcek Prize in the Arts, which recognizes disciplines on a rotating basis, was awarded to Guatemalan-born architect Teddy Cruz, a professor in the department of visual arts at the University of California, San Diego. Each of those prizes comes with a $100,000 cash award.
The foundation also awarded six Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise, which each come with a $50,000 cash award. The winners of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science were Polina Anikeeva (Russia), the Class of 1942 Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and associate director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics; Sergiu P. Pasca (Romania), assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University; and Feng Zhang (China), the James and Patricia Poitras '63 Professor in Neuroscience at MIT's McGovern Institute.
The winners of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Architecture are Mona Ghandi (Iran), assistant professor of architecture at Washington State University; James Leng (China), a Los Angeles-based architect working in independent practice; and Jing Liu (China), a principal in the Brooklyn-based architecture studio SO-IL.
"The Vilcek Prizes were established in appreciation of the immigrants who chose to dedicate their vision and talent to bettering American society," said Vilcek Foundation president Rick Kinsel. "This year's prizewinners honor and continue that legacy with works of astounding, revolutionary importance."