NEW YORK, June 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Three female scientists have been named Laureates of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, each receiving $250,000, the largest unrestricted scientific prize offered to America's most-promising, faculty-level scientific researchers. It marks the first time in the program's 13-year history that all of the recipients are women.
The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences announced the 2019 national laureates, honored for their work in the awards' three disciplines — Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering and Chemistry. Nominated by 169 research institutions from across 44 states, the Blavatnik National Awards received 343 nominees – the largest pool of nominees ever received by the program for those 42 years of age and younger.
"These three women are leading scientists and inventive trailblazers with stellar accomplishments in their respective fields," said Len Blavatnik, founder and chairman of Access Industries, head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and member of the President's Council of the New York Academy of Sciences.
"Their groundbreaking research leads the way for future discoveries that will improve the world and benefit humankind. It's exciting to see these three brilliant scientists chosen as the 2019 Blavatnik National Laureates," Blavatnik said.
The recipients were selected from 31 finalists.
The 2019 Blavatnik National Laureates are:
- Life Sciences: Heather J. Lynch, Stony Brook University, for her unique synthesis of cutting-edge statistics, mathematical models, satellite remote sensing and Antarctic field biology to understand the spatial and temporal patterns of penguin colonies to predict population growth, collapse and possible extinction in the face of climate change.
- Physical Sciences & Engineering: Ana Maria Rey, University of Colorado Boulder, for her pioneering contributions to the field of theoretical atomic, molecular and optical physics, including her paradigm-shifting theories on atomic collisions, which led to the development of the world's most accurate atomic clock.
- Chemistry: Emily Balskus, Harvard University, for her transformative work identifying the novel chemistry of the gut microbiome and deciphering its role in human health and disease.
The 2019 Blavatnik National Laureates and Finalists will be honored at the Blavatnik National Awards ceremony on Monday, Sept. 23, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
"Our academy has always supported diversity in STEM, so we are incredibly proud to see these three scientists named as 2019 national laureates," said Ellis Rubinstein, president and CEO of the academy and chairman of the awards' Scientific Advisory Council. "It is also the first time a Hispanic immigrant [from Colombia] will be honored as a national laureate - a wonderful role model for Latina girls considering a STEM career. In addition, with the increasing threat of climate change, the academy, in collaboration with the United Nations and its Sustainable Development Goals, aims to address the grand challenges of the planet, so we are encouraged to see an expert Antarctic ecologist join the growing global community of Blavatnik Awards scholars that together can help us find sustainable solutions for our planet."
About the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists
The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in the United States in 2007 and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, began by identifying outstanding regional scientific talent in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Blavatnik National Awards were launched in 2014 and, in 2017, the awards were expanded to young scientists in the United Kingdom and Israel. By the close of 2019, the Blavatnik Awards will have awarded prizes totaling over $8.4 million and will have recognized 284 young scientists and engineers from 45 countries, working in 35 scientific and engineering disciplines.
About the Blavatnik Family Foundation
The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of world-renowned educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and throughout the world. The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, a global industrialist and philanthropist and the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held U.S. industrial group with global strategic interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, real estate, and venture capital. See more at www.blavatnikfoundation.org.
About The New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000 Members in 100 countries around the world, the academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org and follow us on Twitter at @NYASciences.
SOURCE New York Academy of Sciences