Seoul National University (SNU) professors Narry Kim and Park Jong-il were chosen as the winners of the Korea Science and Technology Award, the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) announced Monday.
The award is given jointly by the KOFST and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
"I am thankful to those around me who have helped me stay focused on my research," Kim said upon receiving the award. "I am especially grateful to the students in my lab who stayed faithful when we were experiencing financial difficulties."
She graduated from SNU in 1992 with a degree in microbiology and received her master's at SNU and her doctoral degree at Oxford University.
Kim began her career as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Pennsylvania, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and after serving several years as assistant professor at SNU, she was named an SNU distinguished fellow.
In 2007, she won the Young Scientist Awards and the Woman Scientist of the Year award from the Ministry of Science and Technology. In 2010 she was named National Honor Scientist by the ministry.
She is currently a professor of RNA genomics at SNU, and director of the RNA Research Center, the Institute for Basic Science.
Park has been a professor of topology at SNU since 2004. He also taught at Konkuk University, and the University of California, Irvine.
He is the third mathematician to receive the award since the award was established in 2003.
"I am honored to have had my efforts acknowledged by not only the mathematics field but also the science and technology field," Park said. "I feel lucky to have received this award as a pure mathematician, among many excellent scientists."
The science and technology award is granted to scientists who have contributed to the nation's scientific development by reporting and researching new findings and developing new technologies. So far 30 scientists have had the honor of winning the award.
This year, Kim and Park were chosen among 38 nominees. The award ceremony will be held in Busan on July 5. Winners will receive a presidential award and 270 million won.