The Arthur T. Winfree Prize was established in memory of Arthur T. Winfree’s contributions to mathematical biology. Winfree was one of the legendary figures in the field, one of the very few who combined brilliant theory with imaginative and masterful experiments. His pioneering work in biological periodicity and pattern formation built a foundation for current research. Winfree’s genius was frequently hidden by his modest, even self-effacing manner. Beyond his scientific contributions, he was an exemplary scientist and human being.
The objective of the Arthur T. Winfree Prize is to honor a theoretician whose research has inspired significant new biology. Nominations of individuals to be considered for the prize may focus on a single paper or series of papers which illustrate the close connection between theory and experiments, or may be based upon a larger body of theoretical work produced by the individual which has led to significant new biological understanding affecting observation/experiments. The recipient is decided by the [Awards Committee] of the Society for Mathematical Biology.
The award recipient will receive a cash award of $500 and a certificate at the award ceremony in the Annual Meeting of the Society. They are also expected to give a talk at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology.
Recipients of the Arthur Winfree Prize
2021 – Leah Edelstein-Keshet, University of British Columbia
2017 – Philip K. Maini, University of Oxford
I received my doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1985 under the supervision of Prof J.D. Murray, FRS. My first faculty position was as an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. I returned to Oxford in 1990 as a University Lecturer and in 1998 was appointed Professor of Mathematical Biology by Recognition of Distinction and Director of the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology. In 2005 I was appointed Inaugural Statutory Professor of Mathematical Biology. I have worked in a number of areas in developmental biology, wound healing and cancer modelling. My work ranges from the theoretical analysis of models through to close collaboration with experimental groups in using modelling to suggest experiments. Some recent work has focussed on modelling the migration of cranial neural crest cells, a powerful paradigm for collective cell movement, in which we have used hybrid agent-based modelling to provide new insights into the biology. We have also been working on phenotypic cooperation as a possible mechanism for enabling cancer cell invasion, through the use of coupled systems of degenerate nonlinear partial differential equations. Full details of all my research are on my personal website: people.maths.ox.ac.uk/maini/
2015 – John Rinzel, New York University
John Rinzel’s research is in the biophysical mechanisms and theoretical foundations of dynamic neural computation. With a background in engineering (BS: Univ of Florida, 1967) and applied mathematics (PhD: Courant Institute, NYU, 1973) he uses mathematical models to understand how neurons and neural circuits generate and communicate with electrical and chemical signals for physiological function. John especially relishes developing reduced, but biophysically-based, models that capture a neural system’s essence. Before joining New York University’s faculty (jointly appointed in the Center for Neural Science and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences) in 1997, he was in the Mathematical Research Branch at the NIH for nearly 25 years, most of that time as Branch Chief. John directs his group in computational modeling, electrophysiological and psychophysical experiments. John is a SIAM Fellow (2013); he received the Arthur T Winfree Prize (Society for Mathematical Biology, 2015). In 2019, he was awarded the Mathematical Neuroscience Prize (Israel Brain Technologies) and the Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience (Society for Neuroscience).
Recent research involves analysis and neural mechanisms of: perceptual bistability, beat/rhythm generation, gamma oscillations, spiking modes – shared and distinct among cells across brain regions.
2013 – Leon Glass, McGill University
2011 – John Tyson, Virginia Tech
2009 – George Oster, University of California, Berkeley