MIT Art, Stanford Neuroscience Professors Win $900,000 Kyoto Prize

The Inamori Foundation today announced the 2018 laureates of its Kyoto
Prize, Japan’s highest private award for global achievement, in the
categories of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and

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Each laureate will receive a diploma, a 20-karat gold medal, and a
monetary award of 100 million yen (about US$900,000) during the 34th
annual Kyoto Prize presentation ceremony, Nov. 10, 2018, at the Kyoto
International Conference Center in Kyoto, Japan. The laureates will give
commemorative lectures on Nov. 11 and workshops on subsequent dates
before reconvening for the 18th annual Kyoto Prize Symposium
in San Diego, California, March 19-21, 2019.

The 2018 Kyoto Prize Laureates

In Arts and Philosophy, the 2018 Kyoto Prize laureate is Ms.
Joan Jonas (b. July 13, 1936, age 81), a U.S. artist and
professor emerita at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jonas
created a new form of artistic expression in the early 1970s by
integrating performance art with video. Through labyrinth-like works
that lead audiences to diverse interpretations, she hands down the
legacy of 1960s avant-garde art by developing it into a postmodern
framework, profoundly impacting artists of later generations.

In Advanced Technology, the 2018 Kyoto Prize laureate is Dr.
Karl Deisseroth (b. Nov. 18, 1971, age 46), a U.S.
neuroscientist, professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Investigator at Stanford University. Deisseroth is a pioneer in
the field optogenetics — a new methodological discipline in which
neurons can be activated or inhibited on the millisecond scale using
light. This achievement has revolutionized the field of systems
neuroscience, enabling causal study of neuronal assembly activity and
resulting function, as compared to traditional correlational studies.

In Basic Sciences, the 2018 Kyoto Prize laureate is Dr.
Masaki Kashiwara (b. Jan. 30, 1947, age 71), a Japanese
mathematician and project professor at Kyoto University. Kashiwara is
noted for his outstanding contributions to a broad spectrum of modern
mathematics, which include establishing the theory of D-modules and
playing a decisive role in the creation and development of algebraic

About the Inamori
Foundation and the Kyoto

The Kyoto Prize is an international award bestowed by the non-profit
Inamori Foundation to honor those who have contributed significantly to
the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind. The
Foundation was established in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder and
chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corporation; founder and honorary adviser
to KDDI Corporation; and honorary adviser to Japan Airlines. Inamori
created the Kyoto Prize in 1984, in line with his belief that people
have no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humankind
and society, and that the future of humanity can be assured only through
a balance between scientific progress and our spiritual depth. Counting
the 2018 recipients, the prize has honored 109 laureates — 108
individuals and one group (the Nobel Foundation) — collectively
representing 17 nations. Individual laureates range from scientists,
engineers and researchers to philosophers, visual artists, architects,
musicians, and film and stage directors. The United States has produced
the most recipients (47), followed by Japan (22), the United Kingdom
(12), and France (8). More information can be found at

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