Winners of World Cultural Council awards announced

Share this article 

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will host the 35th Annual World Cultural Council (WCC) Award Ceremony on 8 November 2018. This is the first time that this international award has been hosted in Hong Kong. This year Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the Institut Pasteur and Collège de France, has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Albert Einstein World Award of Science. Professor Malik Mâaza of the University of South Africa (UNISA) and at iThemba LABS-National Research Foundation, South Africa, and holder of the UNESCO-UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, UNESCO, will be awarded the 2018 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education.

Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux
Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux



Professor Changeux has been recognised for his exceptional scientific achievements and leadership in the field of neuroscience, and especially for his pioneering contributions to the science and understanding of neuroreceptors over the past 50 years. One of his groundbreaking discoveries revealed that the acetylcholine receptor as a model membrane receptor was one of the most central regulatory mechanisms in biology, leading to original insights concerning the chemistry of the brain and ultimately the brain-mind relationship. 

The WCC jury acknowledged the significant impact that Professor Changeux’s research has had on healthcare and our understanding of human neural processes. His work on the mechanism of neural networks has narrowed the gap between molecular biology and cognitive sciences.

Professor Malik Mâaza
Professor Malik Mâaza



The award acknowledges Professor Mâaza’s work in promoting education for societal development and sustainability, and recognises his international and humanistic approach to science education as well as his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists on the African continent. To this end, Professor Mâaza has worked tirelessly to raise funds worldwide in support of researchers from less affluent countries. He has helped scientists from war zones in Africa and the Middle East pursue their research and has organised periodic exchanges between renowned scientists of Israeli and Arabic origin, seeking to build bridges through science. 

The WCC Jury was additionally impressed by Professor Mâaza’s promotion of female scientists in conservative communities.

“Every year the WCC Awards honour those who have outstanding achievements in science, arts and education, and significant positive impact on the cultural legacy of humanity,” said Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, President of WCC, at a joint press conference today. We hope that by granting the awards, we can promote culture, values and goodwill throughout the world.” 

He added that CityU, as an innovative university, was an ideal environment for recognising the outstanding achievements of the WCC awardees and celebrating the inspiration that they generate as role models for future generations. 

Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU, said that the awards were especially meaningful for CityU because science and education were such core areas of interest.

“CityU is making a difference globally for the benefit of humanity by pursuing excellence, promoting innovation and creativity, as well as nurturing young generations, like the two awardees,” he said.

The WCC Award Ceremony will be held on 8 November 2018 (Thursday) at CityU. On this occasion, the WCC will grant special acknowledgements to young researchers and scholars from Hong Kong who have performed outstandingly in the fields of science, education or arts. 

The nine promising young research leaders are from CityU: Dr Ray Cheung Chak-chung, Associate Professor, Department of Electronic Engineering; Dr Johnny Ho Chung-yin, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Dr Lam Miu-ling, Assistant Professor, School of Creative Media; Dr Patrick Lee Kwan-hon, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, School of Energy and Environment; Dr Eddie Ma Chi-him, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences; Dr Shi Peng, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering; Dr Wang Zuankai, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering; Dr Zhang Xiaoling, Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy; and Dr Zheng Bo, Assistant Professor, School of Creative Media. They will be recognised with a commemorative diploma during the ceremony.

WCC young scholars
Professor Sir Colin Blakemore (fourth from right) and Professor Way Kuo (fourth from left) join some of the outstanding young researchers and CityU representatives after the announcement.


WCC is a non-profit international organisation based in Mexico that grants an annual Albert Einstein World Award of Science, and the biennial José Vasconcelos World Award of Education and the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts to personalities who have recorded outstanding achievements in related fields. The final objective is to promote tolerance, peace and fraternity, seeking to encourage the use of science, art and education to further the well-being of humanity.

As part of the programme, laureate lectures organised by the WCC in cooperation with CityU will create an opportunity for interaction between the community and the winners. 

For further information, please visit:

Achievements of Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux  
Achievements of Professor Malik Mâaza
Profiles of Young Scholars


Contact Information

Communications and Public Relations Office

Back to top