Prizes: ISMAR Prize

ISMAR awards the ISMAR Prize every other year for outstanding achievements in the field of magnetic resonance. The ISMAR Prize is presented during the opening session of each biennial ISMAR conference and it is sponsored by Cambridge Isotope Laboratories.

ISMAR Prize (Current Year)

2023 – Ad Bax

Dr. Ad Bax is awarded the 2023 ISMAR Prize for pioneering a series of novel NMR methods enabling determination of structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules in solution. His work had a major impact on transforming NMR spectroscopy into a powerful and readily accessible and well established tool in structural biology and led to important advances in the basic understanding of how biological systems work at the molecular level.

ISMAR Prize (Previous Years)

2021 – Kamil Ugurbil

Professor Kamil Ugurbil is awarded the 2021 ISMAR Prize for his many novel and impactful contributions to magnetic resonance imaging. In particular, Prof. Ugurbil has played a central role in the development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as an essential tool in the field of neuroscience, including elucidation of fundamental mechanisms by which brain activity leads to contrast in MRI images and development of technology for MRI and fMRI at very high magnetic fields.

2019 – Peter E. Wright

The 2019 ISMAR Prize is awarded to Professor Peter E. Wright and Professor Jane H. Dyson, both of The Scripps Research Institute, for their many ground-breaking contributions to NMR of proteins and peptides, especially in the field of intrinsically disordered proteins, where their work has established one of the most active research areas in molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics.

2019 – Jane H. Dyson

The 2019 ISMAR Prize is awarded to Professor Jane H. Dyson and Professor Peter E. Wright, both of The Scripps Research Institute, for their many ground-breaking contributions to NMR of proteins and peptides, especially in the field of intrinsically disordered proteins, where their work has established one of the most active research areas in molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics.

2017 – Alexander Pines

Professor Alexander Pines is awarded the 2017 ISMAR prize for his many landmark contributions to magnetic resonance, in particular to solid-state NMR, including time-reversal of dipole-dipole couplings, cross polarization of dilute spins in solids, multiple-quantum spectroscopy, double rotation and dynamic angle spinning of quadrupolar nuclei, the geometric (Berry) phase, ex situ and remote detection, ultralow and zero-field NMR and MRI, optical hyperpolarization and detection, functionalized hyperpolarized Xe as a biosensor, and his leadership as an inspiring teacher and mentor in the field.

2015 – Shimon Vega

Professor Shimon Vega is the winner of the 2015 ISMAR Prize. He receives the award for:

"For pioneering contributions to solid state NMR; in particular for the elucidation of multiple quantum spectroscopy and dynamic nuclear polarization in solid state NMR, and for the Floquet analysis of multiple pulse sequences”

2015 – Hans Wolfgang Spiess

Professor Hans Wolfgang Spiess is the winner of the 2015 ISMAR Prize. He receives the award for:

" For pioneering contributions to solid state NMR; in particular for techniques that elucidate motion in solids by means of two-dimensional NMR, and for applications of solid state NMR to the structure and dynamics of polymers”

2013 – Jack H. Freed

Professor Jack H. Freed is the winner of the 2013 ISMAR Prize. Professor Jack H. Freed was awarded the ISMAR prize for the foundation of modern EPR through an extraordinary range of contributions from mathematics and theory to methodology and instrumentation; and for the application of his ingenious methods of pulsed EPR spectroscopy to fundamental problems in areas from chemistry to biophysics.

2010 – Robert G. Griffin

Professor Robert G. Griffin is the winner of the 2010 ISMAR Prize. The presentation will be presented at the ISMAR 2010 Conference in Florence, Italy in July. Professor Griffin has made outstanding contributions to NMR spectroscopy, in particular, his successful development of high-field dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) as a practical method for sensitivity enhancement in solid-state NMR with magic-angle spinning. His contributions have included the design and construction of novel instrumentation for DNP and the use of nitroxide biradicals to improve DNP sensitivity.

Professor Griffin and co-workers recently demonstrated the ability of DNP to detect and characterize intermediates in the bacteriorhodopsin photocycle, the widely studied prototype of a ubiquitous family of light-driven ion pumps and a model for other members of the versatile family of retinal pigments, including the G-protein coupled receptors in the visual system.

2007 – Seiji Ogawa

Seiji Ogawa is the 2007 winner of the ISMAR Prize. Seiji Ogawa is widely recognized for his seminal contributions to NMR, particularly his discovery in 1990 of the BOLD [Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent] contrast method that has revolutionized medical imaging as both a research and clinical tool. He used the magnetic susceptibility difference between oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin in the blood to demonstrate contrast in NMR signals from the brain as the blood feeds active neurons. Functional MRI (fMRI) using BOLD is now employed as the principal technique to map the visual, auditory and sensory regions for research in neurobiology and psychology. It is used in surgical planning to identify the motor cortex.

Seiji Ogawa trained as an applied physicist in Tokyo and received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford in 1967. In 1968 he joined the Technical Staff in Biophysics Research at Bell Laboratories, where he stayed for 33 years. Since 2001, he has been Director of the Ogawa Laboratories for Brain Function Research at the Hamano Life Science Research Foundation in Tokyo.

Among other prizes received by Ogawa are the Gold Medal of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (1995), the Biological Physics Prize of the American Physical Society (1996), the Gairdner Award (2003), and the Japan Prize (2003).

2004 – Richard E. Norberg & Irving J. Lowe

Richard E. Norberg was born in 1922 and received his Ph.D. 1951 in Physics at the University of Illinois USA. He was introduced to NMR by Charles Slichter and Erwin Hahn. Norberg joined the faculty of physics at Washington University, St. Louis in 1954. His research specialities are: NMR at high pressure, for physisorbed systems, in amorphous semiconductors, in condensed rare gases, in metal-hydrogen systems, and matrix isolated H2, HD, and D2.

Irving J. Lowe was born in 1929 and received his Ph.D. 1956 in Physics at Washington University, St. Louis, USA. His thesis supervisors were George Pake, Donald Maxwell and Richard Norberg. Lowe was a Sloan Fellow at Washington University during 1956-58. He spent the years 1958-62 at the University of Minnesota and is professor of physics since 1962 at the University of Pittsburgh. His research specialities are: Solid state NMR, NMR theory and instrumentation, magnetic resonance imaging. Irving J. Lowe invented the method of magic angle spinning (MAS), independently from R. Andrew, by extending his earlier work together with Norberg on motional narrowing.

Norberg and Lowe jointly introduced the Fourier Transform method in solid state NMR by demonstrating that NMR spectra can be obtained by Fourier transformation of the Free Induction Decay (FID) after a hard pulse. This led to a detailed investigation of FIDs and the corresponding spectra of dipole-dipole and quadrupole interactions in different types of solids. Their seminal work in CaF2 laid the basis for the understanding of the NMR line shape in dipole-dipole coupled solids and is still the test case for NMR line shape theory. Van Vleck had theoretically shown that the increase of the fourth moment leads to a narrowing of the central part of the spectrum. Norberg and Lowe observed this motional narrowing effect in solids. They extended this work by investigating the change of the line shape under molecular reorientation in rigid solids and in polymers. Finally this led to the line narrowing method by magic angle spinning.

2001 – Jean Jeener

Jean (Louis, Charles) Jeener (born on 31 July 1931) received a degree in physics and chemistry at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). To obtain PhD, he worked with I. Prigogine at ULB from 1953 until 1958. The next two years he spent as a postdoc with N. Bloembergen at Harvard. In October 1960, he became a professor at ULB where he established an NMR lab and taught a wide variety of courses. In 1996 he became Professor Emeritus at ULB.

His research interest in NMR started with spin thermodynamics and dynamics in solids, progressively extending towards 2D spectroscopy in liquids, superoperators, peak shapes in the presence of molecular rearrangements, formulation of pulse spectroscopy with full quantization of the field, and, since 1990, radiation damping and dipolar field effects in liquids (electronic control of radiation damping, issues of principle in the theory, dynamical stability).

Jean Jeener is principally known for his experimental and theoretical contributions to spin thermodynamics in solids and his invention of two-dimensional Fourier NMR spectroscopy.

1998 – Ray Freeman

1995 – Alfred G. Redfield

1992 – Paul Lauterbur & Peter Mansfield

1989 – John Waugh

1986 – Charles Slichter

1983 – Anatole Abragam & Brebis Bleaney

1980 – Hans Dehmelt & Günther Laukien

1977 – Robert Blinc & Yevgeni K. Zavoiski

1974 – Herb Gutowsky