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Celebrating the Third Year in Israel, the Blavatnik Awards Announce the 2020 Laureates

The three Laureates include a structural biologist, a quantitative biologist, and a theoretical computer scientist, from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Published January 27, 2020

Celebrating the Third Year in Israel, the Blavatnik Awards Announce the 2020 Laureates

Today the Academy, in collaboration with the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, announced the three Laureates of the 2020 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel. Each Laureate will receive $100,000 for their groundbreaking discoveries—the largest unrestricted prize available to early-career scientists in Israel under the age of 42. The three Laureates —one in each category of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry—were independently selected by three distinguished juries composed of Israel’s leading senior scientists and engineers. 

“Recognizing and supporting promising scientists early in their careers is essential to ensure that they maximize the impact of their future research,” says Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and member of the President’s Council for the Academy. “For the past several decades, Israel has been a powerhouse of scientific breakthroughs and technological innovation. The three young scientists recognized by these Awards are outstanding examples of the enormous potential of Israeli scientific talent.”

Ellis Rubinstein, President of the New York Academy of Sciences and Co-Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council, noted, “From studying uncharted areas of the human genome and mapping the protein organization of cells, to improving security and efficiency in cloud computing, this year’s Blavatnik Awards Laureates have created entirely new methods to advance their respective fields and society as a whole. We are truly excited for the Weizmann Institute as it is the honored institution in 2020.”

“Together with the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences, we are delighted to honor these exceptional Israeli scientists on their achievement,” commented Professor Nili Cohen, President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and member of the Blavatnik Awards Scientific Advisory Council. “Their drive, determination, and dedication are leading them to advance the frontiers of scientific discovery, and they deserve to be recognized with this esteemed Award.”

"This year’s Blavatnik Awards Laureates in Israel have created entirely new methods to advance their respective fields and society as a whole.”

-Ellis Rubinstein

2020 Life Sciences LaureateIgor Ulitsky, PhD, studies how a type of genetic information derived from understudied areas of the human genome—long noncoding RNA—works to influence human health and disease. Understanding how, when, and where this information is expressed in our bodies has major implications for the development of novel disease therapies targeting cancer, brain injury, and regenerative medicine.

2020 Chemistry Laureate: Emmanuel Levy, PhD, works to uncover the molecular building blocks of cells. He has developed innovative approaches to study proteins and their assembly in cells, including how mutations can trigger new protein assemblies. However, much remains unknown about the processes that govern the organization and assembly of these components into higher-order machineries. Dr. Levy has developed computational and biochemical methodologies to elucidate the principles that govern the self-organization of proteins in cells.

2020 Physical Sciences & Engineering LaureateGuy Rothblum, PhD, develops theories to address emerging issues and societal concerns surrounding security and privacy associated with the deployment of modern-day computing methods such as cloud computing and machine learning. His work has not only advanced our understanding of the fundamental limitations of cloud computing and machine learning methods, but also influenced the development of new algorithms and protocols in these fields.

Chosen from 36 nominations submitted by seven universities across Israel, these three 2020 Laureates will be formally honored at a ceremony at the renowned Israel Museum in Jerusalem on March 29, 2020.

To learn more about the Blavatnik Awards programs in the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel please visit the Blavatnik Awards website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @BlavatnikAwards