Meet the 2018 Vilcek Prizewinners!

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Vilcek Prizes, this year awarded in biomedical science and architecture. Bestowed annually, the prizes honor outstanding immigrant contributions to American society—from the development of CRISPR-Cas, the revolutionary genome editing technology, to the design of cross-border community spaces that emphasize the shared values, peoples, and ecology on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

While these eight architects and scientists represent only an infinitesimal fraction of such contributions, they are emblematic of the excellence that immigrants bring to the U.S.—no matter where in the world they have come from. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring each prizewinner and their work through short videos, feature articles, and other content—stay tuned!


Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science

Alexander Rudensky
Chair of the Immunology Program at Sloan Kettering Institute; Director of the Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Born in Russia.

For fundamental molecular insights on the workings of a type of immune cell with a breathtaking array of functions—in autoimmune disease, inflammatory disorders, and cancer.


Vilcek Prize in Architecture

Teddy Cruz
Professor of Public Culture and Urbanization at University of California San Diego; Co-Director of the Cross-Border Initiative, UCSD Center of Global Justice; and Director of Design at Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman. Born in Guatemala.

For creating designs and concepts that make border communities more inclusive and equitable. 


Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

Polina Anikeeva
Class of 1942 Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; and Associate Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born in Russia.

For developing novel engineering solutions that have advanced the field of neural engineering and enabled fine-grained analysis of brain function and animal behavior.


Sergiu P. Pasca
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Born in Romania.

For developing realistic models of the human brain and unearthing fundamental insights into the biology of neuropsychiatric diseases like autism.


Feng Zhang
James and Patricia Poitras Professor in Neuroscience at McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Massachusetts Institute for Technology; and Core Institute Member of the Broad Institute. Born in China.

For using light to manipulate the activities of brain cells in living animals and for enabling rapid alterations to the genomes of living organisms.



Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Architecture

Mona Ghandi
Assistant Professor of Architecture at Washington State University. Born in Iran.

For using data-driven design and biofeedback information to create responsively empathetic spaces. 


James Leng
Principal at Office James Leng. Born in China.

For his investigations into the role of defunct buildings and his vision for public, social uses of infrastructure. 


Jing Liu
Founder and Principal at SO-IL. Born in China.

For her innovative interdisciplinary work and for developing new approaches to urban housing. 

  • Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs

    Our new exhibition, Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs, features paintings, drawings, and photography by a master of American Modernism that are rarely exhibited to the public.


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