Israel's Prestigious Wolf Prize Honors Scientists, Architect

American, German, and Austrian scientists, as well as architect from Portugal win prize; Wolf winners are considered strong contenders for Nobel prizes.

Israel's prestigious Wolf Prize this year will honor American, German and Austrian scientists as well as an architect from Portugal.

Wolf winners are considered strong contenders for Nobel prizes. In the 34 years the Wolf Foundation has granted the awards, about one out of three laureates in chemistry, physics and medicine have gone on to receive the Nobel.

Juan Ignacio Cirac from Germany and Peter Zoller from Austria won the prize in physics, two prizes in mathematics went to Americans George D. Mostow and Michael Artin, Robert Langer won the prize in chemistry, and two scientists won the prize in agriculture – Americans Jared Diamond and Joachim Messing. Also, Eduardo Souto de Mouro won the prize in architecture. 

The winners were announced in Tel Aviv Wednesday.

American scientist Robert S. Langer was honored for innovations that "have had a profound impact on medicine," a foundation statement said.

Eduardo Souto de Mouro from Portugal was named "to reward his advancement of the craft and ideas of architecture."

The eight winners from four countries share $100,000 awards in each of five categories.

President Shimon Peres will award the prizes in May.