2011 Ho-Am Prize: Recognizing Achievements That Take Us Forward

A biophysics expert, a medical specialist in respiratory medicine and a world-renowned violist: what do they have in common?

They are the recipients of the 2011 Ho-Am Prize, established by Samsung Chairman Kun-hee Lee and awarded every year to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of academics, arts and human welfare.

The annual prize, named after the byname of the late Byung-chull Lee, founder of Samsung, is part of our efforts to recognize brilliant talents and their contributions to the society.


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Ho-Am Prize Medals: Front and Back (in Science, Engineering, Medicine, the Arts and Community Service)


This year’s recipients are:




Prof. Taekjip Ha of University of Illinois: Prize in Science for his pioneering a new area of single-molecule research

– By applying Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to single-molecule research, Prof. Ha created a new opportunity to understand protein interactions on a molecule level.






Prof. Thomas Lee of Stanford University: Prize in Engineering for his contribution to the developments in radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs)

– Prof. Lee paved the way for the rapid development of the wireless communication technology by improving CMOS transistors and helping develop chips used in mobile phones and GPS, among other products.





Prof. Augustine Choi of Harvard Medical School: Prize in Medicine for his finding of a new treatment in respiratory medicine

– Prof. Choi first established the function of carbon monoxide protecting cells and tissues and is leading development of a new treatment through low concentration carbon monoxide respiration.






Kyung-wha Chung, violinist: Prize in The Arts for contributing to classical music through outstanding talent and remarkable performance

-Since her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1970, Chung has earned recognition as one of the highest-stature performing artist and made significant contributions to the cultural scenes worldwide.

(Photograph by EMI  Classics)



Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations: Prize in Community Service for developing a variety of non-profit legal counseling service for minority groups

Established in 1956 as South Korea’s first non-profit legal aid group, the center has provided priceless legal support for women, credit delinquents, single-parent families and North Koreans living in South Korea.


The prize will be awarded on June 1, along with a medal and the prize money of 300 million won ($275,000) for each recipient.

Previous laureates of the prize include the famous video artist Nam-June Paik, the Columbia University professor and condensed matter physicist Philip Kim and the global relief organization World Vision.


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The first award in 1991                The 2010 Ho-Am Prize ceremony