Stephen Hawking. Petter Higgs. And now Dr. Linda Saif, an agriculture professor at The Ohio State University, joins these and other scientists as the newest winner of the prestigious Wolf Prize. She is being recognized for her work on viral diseases as they relate to farm animals, food safety and human health.
The award has been given out by the Wolf Foundation of Israel each year since 1978 in the fields of agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics and the arts. Saif bears the honor of being the first woman to receive the award.
The Wolf Foundation lauded Saif’s “discoveries of novel enteric and respiratory viruses of food animals and humans [that] have led her to extensive contributions of fundamental knowledge of the gut-mammary immunologic axis and has provided new ways to design vaccines and vaccination strategies.”
To date, Saif has authored or coauthored more than 300 refereed journal publications and 58 book chapters on various animal infections and diseases. She has received grants totaling more than $25 million to further her work.
"The former recipients of the Wolf Prize in Agriculture whom I know personally are members or foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences and have made significant and original contributions to agriculture," she says. "It is a humbling experience and a major honor for me as a new recipient to be in the company of such esteemed colleagues and pioneers in their fields. I am also highly honored for being the first female recipient of the Wolf Prize in Agriculture."
Saif is also quick to thank others when discussing her success.
“The dedicated and outstanding work of my students, post-docs, visiting scholars and assistants and their many contributions to our research efforts have been instrumental in my success,” she says. “My greatest and lasting reward remains watching my students develop a passion for research and blossom into independent researchers and professionals.”