Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists Announce 2015 Finalists

May 22, 2015, 10:18 ET from New York Academy of Sciences

NEW YORK, May 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists announced today the 32 National Finalists who will be competing for three spots as the 2015 Blavatnik National Laureates.  The Finalists were selected from 300 nominations of highly qualified faculty-rank researchers from 147 of the nation's leading academic and research institutions. 

To see the full list of National Finalists along with photos and links to their research web pages, please click here

The annual Awards, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, recognize and support America's top young scientific innovators in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry.  The three National Laureates will be announced in June 2015 and will each receive an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000, the largest prize of its kind for early-career scientists.

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2015 Disciplinary Trends

This year's National Finalists in Life Sciences represent an outstanding cohort that embodies the idealism and excitement of life sciences in the United States today. Their work includes developing disruptive technologies, including optogenetics and CRISPR; revolutionizing the study of the human microbiome and immunity; advancing state-of-the-art methods to explore systems neuroscience and learning in the brain; and understanding basic molecular mechanisms to identify critical clues to cancer and human disease.

The 2015 Physical Sciences & Engineering group is composed of talented young innovators who develop new electronic devices by manipulating the underlying materials chemistry and synthesis; create novel biomaterials and engineer portable diagnostic and imaging devices; probe the capacity of wireless networks, and use computational and statistical methods to analyze space telescope data to characterize planets beyond the Solar System.

The National Finalists in the Chemistry category are extraordinarily talented scientists working at the frontiers of chemical research. Their research ranges from traditional areas such as natural product synthesis, C-H activation methodology, enzymology and drug discovery, to less traditional fields, such as metallo-neurochemistry, DNA nanotechnology, and chemical engineering of low dimensional materials.

The National Laureates and Finalists will be honored at an annual awards ceremony on Monday, September 28th, 2015 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. 

In addition, on August 5-6, 2015, the Academy and the Blavatnik Family Foundation will host its second annual Blavatnik Science Symposium featuring research from the 2015 National Finalists and Blavatnik Awards honorees from previous years. The event will also include members of the Blavatnik Awards National Jury and Scientific Advisory Council, as well as other scientific luminaries.

To follow the progress of the Blavatnik Awards, please visit the Awards website (, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@BlavatnikAwards).

For interview requests, please contact Marina Blinova (; 212-298-8626). For additional programmatic information, please contact the Blavatnik Awards Administrator (; 212-298-8624).

2015 Blavatnik National Awards Finalists

Life Sciences

Edward Chang       


University of California, San Francisco     

Jonathan Kagan       

Immunology & Microbiology           

Boston Children's Hospital         

Rob Knight       

Immunology & Microbiology       

University of Colorado Boulder  

Harmit Malik      

Evolutionary Biology          

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Luciano Marraffini      

Immunology & Microbiology          

The Rockefeller University          

Michael Rape      

Molecular & Cellular Biology       

University of California, Berkeley

Jared Rutter         

Molecular & Cellular Biology         

University of Utah         

Alice Ting               

Molecular & Cellular Biology        

Massachusetts Institute of Technology    

Feng Zhang           


Massachusetts Institute of Technology    

Yi Zuo         

Molecular & Cellular Biology           

University of California, Santa Cruz         

Physical Sciences & Engineering

Yi Cui                

Materials Science & Nanotechnology 

Stanford University & SLAC        

Xiangfeng Duan        

Materials Science & Nanotechnology 

University of California, Los Angeles       

Eric Ford          


Pennsylvania State University      

Markus Greiner      

Optical Physics           

Harvard University        

Syed Jafar              

Electrical Engineering              

University of California, Irvine     

Ali Khademhosseini   

Materials Science & Nanotechnology  

Brigham & Women's Hospital    

Hakho Lee          

Materials Science & Nanotechnology    

Massachusetts General Hospital 

Yueh-Lin Loo          

Materials Science & Nanotechnology    

Princeton University       

Aydogan Ozcan       

Electrical Engineering              

University of California, Los Angeles       

Abhay Pasupathy      

Condensed Matter Physics             

Columbia University      

Ashvin Vishwanath       

Theoretical Physics               

University of California, Berkeley


Phil Baran         

Organic Chemistry               

Scripps Research Institute          

Christopher Chang     

Inorganic Chemistry      

University of California, Berkeley

Bianxiao Cui          

Physical Chemistry          

Stanford University        

Matthew Disney    

Chemical Biology               

Scripps Florida 

Michael Fischbach    

Chemical Biology           

University of California, San Francisco     

Rustem Ismagilov     

Chemical Engineering          

California Institute of Technology           

Nevan Krogan        


Gladstone Institutes       

Hening Lin             

Chemical Biology                 

Cornell University          

Melanie Sanford         

Synthetic Chemistry              

University of Michigan   

Michael Strano        

Chemical Engineering             

Massachusetts Institute of Technology    

Peng Yin                

Chemical Biology            

Harvard University        

About the Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of leading educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the United States, Europe, and throughout the world. The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, an American industrialist and philanthropist. Mr. Blavatnik is the founder and Chairman of Access Industries, a privately-held U.S. industrial group with global interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, emerging technologies, life sciences, and real estate. For more detailed information, please

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 20,000 members in 100 countries, 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

SOURCE New York Academy of Sciences