NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Vilcek Foundation announces the recipients of the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizes, totaling $600,000. These prizes recognize foreign-born scientists and artists in the United States, and are an important part of the foundation's work to celebrate the enormous contributions immigrants make to intellectual and cultural life.

Each year, the foundation awards three major prizes: the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts and Humanities, and the Vilcek Prize for Excellence. In 2022, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts and Humanities is awarded in dance; the 2022 Vilcek Prize for Excellence is awarded in biotechnology. Recipients of these three prizes each receive an unrestricted cash award of $100,000.

The foundation also awards six Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise to immigrant professionals whose early-career work represents a significant contribution to their field, and demonstrates exceptional insight or innovation. In 2022, three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are being awarded in two categories: biomedical science and dance. Recipients of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise each receive a cash award of $50,000.

"The intellectual and cultural contributions of immigrants are a vital part of the fabric of everyday life in the United States," said Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel. "The 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizes celebrate outstanding immigrant professionals in biomedical research and technology, and in dance and movement arts."

The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science

The 2022 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science is awarded to Vishva M. Dixit, vice president of early discovery research and physiological chemistry at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Dixit receives the 2022 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science for his groundbreaking discoveries on the mechanism of apoptosis—a biochemical process of programmed cell death implicated in both normal human development and disease—and for his research into the cellular and molecular processes that drive inflammatory signaling.

"Vishva Dixit is a molecular biologist, physician, and pathologist whose scientific publications rank among the most-cited in the world; his work has elucidated molecular mechanisms of inflammation and has become part of standard scientific textbooks," said Vilcek Foundation Chairman and CEO Jan Vilcek. "As the recipient of the 2022 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, Dixit joins the ranks of other exceptional immigrant scientists whose work has shaped our scientific understanding of biology and human health."

The Vilcek Prize in Dance

The 2022 Vilcek Prize in Dance is awarded to Soledad Barrio. Born in Spain, Barrio is the lead dancer and choreographer of New York's Noche Flamenca, the company she cofounded with Martín Santangelo in 1993. A resident teaching artist at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Barrio has won awards in over 15 countries for her work, including a "Bessie" award for Outstanding Creative Achievement and a 2015 Dance Magazine Exceptional Artist award.

"Soledad Barrio is a virtuoso—her commitment to her artistry is nonpareil," said Vilcek Foundation Cofounder, Vice Chairman and Secretary Marica Vilcek. "Just as Baryshnikov did with ballet, Barrio has transformed the genre of flamenco with new life and energy, attracting new audiences and inspiring dancers and choreographers the world over."

The Vilcek Prize for Excellence

The 2022 Vilcek Prize for Excellence is awarded in biotechnology to Katalin Karikó. The Hungarian-born biochemist receives the prize for her pioneering research leadership into the development of mRNA therapeutics, which led to the development of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19.

The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

Markita del Carpio Landry (b. Canada, to a Bolivian mother and French Canadian father), Hani Goodarzi (b. Iran), and Harris Wang (b. China) are the recipients of the 2022 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.

Markita del Carpio Landry receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for the development of probes to visualize neurochemical communication in the brain, and for breakthroughs in gene-editing technologies with applications for agriculture and the development of biologic drugs.

Hani Goodarzi receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for using modeling and computational methods to uncover novel molecular players and pathways and therapeutic targets in cancer metastasis and for developing sophisticated molecular tools for the early detection and monitoring of cancer.

Harris Wang receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for the development and application of Mutiplex Automated Genome Engineering (MAGE), a platform to track, program, and engineer entire microbial communities and ecosystems for a range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Dance

The 2022 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Dance are awarded to Tatiana Desardouin (b. Switzerland, of Haitian descent), Tamisha Guy (b. Trinidad and Tobago), and Leonardo Sandoval (b. Brazil).

Tatiana Desardouin receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance for her presentation of hip-hop and house dance that brings the vernacular tradition of these genres in the Black diaspora to her performances, choreography, and artistic direction.

Tamisha Guy receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance for her evocative and intuitive performance style that blends elements of contemporary, modern, and narrative dance traditions, and for her commitment to furthering her own practice through instruction, collaboration, and mentorship.

Leonardo Sandoval receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance for his dynamic choreography that expands the boundaries of tap as a genre and his unique practice that engages elements of Afro-Brazilian dance traditions including samba, forró, maracatu, and passinho.

In 2021 and 2022, the Vilcek Foundation will produce videos, articles, and profiles celebrating all nine of the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizewinners and their work. The recipients of all of the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizes will be honored in an online ceremony in the spring of 2022.

The Vilcek Foundation

The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and the contributions of foreign-born individuals to the arts, sciences, and humanities. The foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation was inspired by the couple's respective careers in biomedical science and art history. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded over $6.4 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and has supported organizations with over $5.5 million in grants.

The Vilcek Foundation is a private operating foundation, a federally tax-exempt nonprofit organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3).

Contact Elizabeth Boylan The Vilcek Foundation 212-472-2500 elizabeth.boylan@vilcek.org

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SOURCE The Vilcek Foundation

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