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Finalists Named for 2009 Blavatnik Awards

The Academy recognizes 12 young investigators from the tri-state area area for their innovative work.

Published June 21, 2009

Finalists Named for 2009 Blavatnik Awards

A dozen outstanding scientists from 10 New York-area academic and research institutions have been named the finalists of the 2009 New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.

The four postdoctoral fellows and eight faculty were selected from among more than 150 nominations by a jury of leading scientists after two rounds of reviewing each finalist's research project. Faculty awardees will receive up to $25,000 and postdoctoral awardees will receive up to $15,000 in unrestricted funds.

Winners will be announced and all finalists honored at the Academy's 6th annual Science & the City Gala, on November 16th.

Now in its third year, the Blavatnik Awards recognize highly innovative, impactful, and interdisciplinary accomplishments in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering with unrestricted financial prizes for both finalists and awardees.

The finalists are:

Postdoctoral Fellows
Sreekanth Chalasani, The Rockefeller University; Ofer Feinerman, Sloan-Kettering Institute; Eva Pastalkova, Rutgers University; Alexander Pechen, Princeton University.

Paul Chirik, Cornell University; Carmala Garzione, University of Rochester; Tamas Horvath, Yale University; Lam Hui, Columbia University; Ben Oppenheimer, American Museum of Natural History; Shai Shaham, The Rockefeller University; Daniel Sigman, Princeton University; Denis Zorin, New York University.

“We are extremely pleased to be able once again to recognize the best young scientists that our area’s academic and research institutions have to offer,” Academy President Ellis Rubinstein said in announcing the finalists. “We thank the Blavatnik Charitable Foundation for its generosity and foresight in supporting this important initiative, which has never been more important.”

“A strong and steady pipeline of highly trained scientific talent is more essential than ever if we are to successfully address the many challenges that face society and the world,” said Len Blavatnik, chairman of Access Industries. “I’m pleased that we are able to provide badly needed support to our most promising young investigators as they pursue their careers.”

The Blavatnik Awards were created in 2007 to acknowledge the excellence of the most noteworthy young scientists and engineers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Up to six awards are presented for interdisciplinary accomplishments in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering.

In addition to performing the highest-quality work, candidates must have been born on or after January 1, 1967.