Archives of the Mayor's Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 8, 2000
||Sunny Mindel/Michael Anton (212) 788-2958
||Cathie Behrend, Department of Cultural Affairs (212) 643-7791
MAYOR GIULIANI HOSTS RECEPTION TO ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF 1999'S
EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AWARDS
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani tonight announced the winners of the
1999 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology at a reception
held at Gracie Mansion. The awards recognize the important role members of
the science and engineering communities play in the success of the City.
Joining the Mayor for the presentation were Schuyler Chapin,
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Rodney Nichols,
President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; William Green, Chairperson
of the New York Academy of Sciences; and Mr. Bill Rudin.
"It is my honor to congratulate the recipients of the 1999
Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology," Mayor Giuliani
said. "Thanks to these men and women, who represent some of the finest
scientific minds our City and our society have to offer, hundreds of thousand
of lives have been changed for the better and millions more will be affected.
"The scientific and technological research applications that are discovered
and perfected in New York City constitute not only some of our greatest commercial
exports but some of our greatest contributions to the world," the Mayor
continued. "Those contributions are precisely the goal of the Biomedical
and Biotechnology Task Force I announced two years ago. Our goal is to help
strengthen collaborative research developments throughout our City, recruit
more world-class researchers to New York, and focus our efforts to promote
and expand biotechnology business development in the Capital of the World.
Finally, I would like to note the extraordinary achievements of former Mayor's
Awards recipients. Dr. Gunter Blobel, a 1997 Mayor's Award Winner, went on
to win the Noble Prize. And 1993 Mayor's Award Winner Dr. David Ho was named
Time Magazine's 1996 Man of the Year.
This year's winners of the Mayor's Awards are:
- David Sabitini - Biological and Medical Sciences
One of the premiere cell biologists in the world, Dr. Sabitini has made ground
breaking contributions to our understanding of cellular structure and function.
He helped revolutionize electron microscopy and enable important discoveries
of new cell structures and insights into plasma membranes and protein delivery.
Dr. Sabatini is the Frederick L. Ehrman Professor and Chairman, Department
of Cell Biology at New York University School of Medicine.
- Ronald Breslow - Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences
Dr. Ronald Breslow is one of the leading chemists in the world. His pioneering
research spans synthesizing novel molecules of great theoretical interest,
elucidating biochemical reaction paths, creating molecules that mimic enzymes,
and creating molecules that inhibit cancer in a unique manner. His discoveries
have also contributed to the development of practical applications in technology
and biomedical research. A strong advocate for outreach to the general public,
Dr. Breslow is University Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University.
- Joseph Traub - Technology
Joseph F. Traub started his pioneering research on information-based complexity
in 1959. He has applied the results to fields as diverse as computational
finance, economics and physics. He has authored ten books and some 120 journal
articles on a wide variety of topics. For the past 25 years, the Jenkins-Traub
method has been the most widely used method for computing polynomial zeros.
Patents have been granted for new methods of valuing financial derivatives
and for risk management. These new methods are widely used on Wall Street.
The following two categories are new to the Mayor's Awards
- Neil de Grasse Tyson - Public Understanding of Science and Technology
Dr. Tyson is an accomplished researcher in fields such as star information
in dwarf galaxies, and has devoted much of his professional life to making
the cosmos accessible to the general public. This includes countless talks,
television appearances, articles and essays that speak to young people about
the wonders and accomplishments of science. As the Frederick P. Rose Director
of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, he helped
prepare the Hayden Planetarium for its grand reopening.
- Young Investigator (three awardees)
- Yuan Chang - Dr. Chang's research has solved one of the long-standing
and perplexing mysteries of the AIDS epidemic, the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma,
the most common cancer among AIDS patients. She employed a novel molecular
biologic technique to discover a new human herpes virus, which causes
the cancer. Dr. Chang's work has been cited over 2,000 times and she has
won several prestigious awards for her groundbreaking research. Dr. Chang
is an Associate Professor of Pathology at the Columbia University College
of Physicians and Surgeons
- George Wolberg - Dr. Wolberg has made seminal contributions to
the field of digital imaging, and in particular digital imaging warping.
He wrote Digital Image Warping, the definitive book in the field, at age
26. It introduced this powerful technological tool to a wide audience
of researches, software developers and students, and his work has now
been applied extensively in television, film, and science and engineering
graphics. Dr. Wolberg is Professor of Computer Science at the City College
of New York.
- Yao Wang - Dr. Wang is most known for her pioneering contributions
to the development of next-generation imaging devices. She has developed
a unique last-based device to photograph the earliest stages of breast
cancer. She has also created computer algorithms to help images stream
over the Internet without faltering, paving the way for television-quality
video transmission over the World Wide Web. Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor
of Electrical Engineering at Polytechnic University.
Under the leadership of President Rodney Nichols, the New York
Academy of Sciences administered the nomination, evaluation and review process
for the awards, in close partnership with Commissioner Schuyler G. Chapin
and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Dr. Fleur Strand, Dr.
Cathleen Morawetz, Dr. George Bugliarello, and Dr. Alan Friedman directed
the Academy's four review panels.
Each year, nominations are received through a comprehensive
nominating process that includes outreach to all sectors in the City's scientific
communities. Individuals may be nominated for either a special achievement
or a lifetime body of work in the five awards categories: Technology, Biological/Medical
Sciences and Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Public Understanding
of Science and Technology, and Young Investigator. Candidates must live or
work in New York City. The Mayor chooses winners from a list of finalists
submitted by NYAS.
Tonight's event at Gracie Mansion was underwritten by The New
York Information Technology Center at 55 Broad Street, and by the Rudin Family.