Chi-Huey Wong awarded Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis

Wong’s discoveries and technologies have fundamentally shaped our understanding of complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins, as well as uncovered new therapeutic strategies to treat major diseases.

July 22, 2022

LA JOLLA, CA—Scripps Research Professor Chi-Huey Wong, PhD, has been awarded the 2022 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis for his pioneering work in glycoscience—or, more familiarly, the study of complex sugars and their role in physiology and disease biology. 

Established in 1980, the Tetrahedron Prize is granted each year to a chemist who has made significant original contributions to the organic, biological or medicinal chemistry field. The prize includes a gold medal, certificate and $15,000 award. Wong is among a list of additional renowned chemists and groundbreaking scientists who have received the Tetrahedron Prize—including Scripps Research President and CEO Peter Schultz, PhD (2019); Professor Dale Boger, PhD (2020); and Professor K. Barry Sharpless, PhD (1993).

“It is an incredible honor to be awarded this year’s Tetrahedron Prize, as well as to be recognized for our studies in glycosylation chemistry and biology,” says Wong. “My research is only made possible by the inspiring scientists and collaborators who I have worked alongside over the years, as we continue to unravel how biological glycosylation impacts disease and ultimately therapeutically intervene in these conditions.”

At Scripps Research, Wong’s lab is focused on developing tools that illuminate the role that glycosylation plays in our bodies. Specifically, his discoveries and technologies are revealing how these complex sugars impact everything from cancer progression to bacterial and viral infections to neurodegenerative disorders. The overarching goal of Wong’s research is to translate these scientific insights into therapeutics, such as universal vaccines, antibodies and inhibitors involved in key glycosylation pathways.

Wong is currently the Scripps Family Chair Professor of Chemistry at Scripps Research and holds a joint appointment as Distinguished Professor at Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica. He received his PhD in Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as his MS in Biochemical Sciences from National Taiwan University. He is also an elected member of Academia Sinica, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Organization and the National Academy of Inventors.

In addition to the Tetrahedron Prize, Wong has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his research, including the American Institute of Chemists Chemical Pioneer Award (2022), the Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry (2021), The Royal Society of Chemistry Robert Robinson Award (2015), The Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2014), and the ACS Arthur C. Cope Award (2012).

The Tetrahedron Prize will be presented to Wong during the 2023 Fall National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

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