Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences member İsmail Çakmak received The World Academy of Sciences 2016 Prize in Agricultural Sciences for his successful multinational projects in 12 countries and outstanding contribution to scientific literature in his field.
İsmail Çakmak was nominated for the 2016 Prize in Agricultural Sciences by the Turkish Academy of Sciences.
The World Academy of Sciences awarded the 2016 Prize in Agricultural Sciences to İsmail Çakmak for successful international projects in 12 countries to employ agricultural strategies to reduce diseases related to zinc, iron and iodine deficiency in over 2 billion people in the developing world, and his outstanding contributions to scientific literature in his field. İsmail Çakmak will receive his Academy Medal and a cash prize of USD 15.000 at a ceremony in 2017.
Deficiency of the said micronutrients cause issues in brain development in children, immune system problems, and reduced physical development. The root cause of the problem is the excessive consumption of grain-based foods, which are naturally very low in zinc, iron and iodine. The project directed by Dr. Çakmak focuses on wheat, rice and corn in China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Laos, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Turkey, aiming to fortify grains by increasing zinc, iron and iodine concentration (particularly by developing and using new fertilizer formulas), thereby contributing to human health. Owing to the success of the project implemented by İsmail Çakmak, the program was extended for three-year intervals twice, and expanded to include new countries and micronutrients.
The project has an approximate budget of 5 million US dollars funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank and some food or fertilizer industry companies, and has resulted in a large number of scientific publications.
About İsmail Çakmak
Dr. Çakmak has published 160 articles in international reviewed scientific journals, receiving more than 9000 citations according to Web of Science data, and approximately 17,000 citations according to Google Scholar data (H-Index; Google Scholar: 69 and Web of Science: 52).
He received the 1999 TÜBİTAK Science Award, the 2005 International Plant Nutrition Award given by the International Fertilizer Industry Association, the 2007 Australian Academy of Technological Sciences “Derek Tribe Prize”, and the 2014 Georg Forster Research Prize given by thge Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany). Çakmak has given scientific lectures in over 45 countries to date. He raised more than 15 million US dollars in funds for his national and international projects. Çakmak was elected to the Academia Europaea in 2012. Çakmak is also an elected member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences.