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Nine Honorees Announced in the Second Annual Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK

From cybersecurity to genome-editing, to unraveling the mysteries of the atom and deciphering the complexities of the human brain, these young scientists are changing our world.

Published January 09, 2019

Nine Honorees Announced in the Second Annual Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK

Today the Laureates and Finalists of the 2019 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom were announced.  A distinguished jury of leading UK senior scientists and engineers selected the nine 2019 Blavatnik Awards honorees from 83 nominations submitted by 43 academic and research institutions across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as well as the Awards’ own Scientific Advisory Council.

These young scientists and engineers are already making headlines across the UK’s scientific community for discoveries and innovations in research ranging from the mechanics of human cells to new ways to weigh biomolecules, advances in cyber security and radical breakthroughs in fundamental physics. Their discoveries are transforming our understanding of the world and improving human lives.

One Laureate from each of the three categories of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry will receive an unrestricted prize of $100,000 -- one of the largest unrestricted prizes available to early-career scientists in the UK.

2019 Life Sciences Laureate: Prof. Ewa Paluch, University College London (UCL) and University of Cambridge

2019 Chemistry Laureate: Prof. Philipp Kukura, University of Oxford

2019 Physical Sciences & Engineering Laureate: Prof. Konstantinos Nikolopoulos, University of Birmingham

2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Finalists

Two Finalists in each of the following categories will receive unrestricted prizes of $30,000 each.

Life Sciences

Prof. Timothy Behrens, University of Oxford; honorary Principal Investigator, University College London (UCL)

Dr. Kathy Niakan, The Francis Crick Institute


Prof. Igor Larrosa, The University of Manchester

Prof. Rachel O’Reilly, University of Birmingham

Physical Sciences & Engineering

Prof. Gustav Holzegel, Imperial College London

Prof. Máire O’Neill, Queen’s University Belfast

“Last year, our first year of administering the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom, we were touched by the reaction of leaders of the UK’s scientific community who agreed that there is no other prize in the UK that honors the achievements and, most especially, future promise of young scientists,” said Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council. "On behalf of our global Academy we have been thrilled to see so many institutions recognized through their fantastic honorees. And we are enormously proud to collaborate with the UK’s esteemed jury and Scientific Advisory Council members.”

The 2019 Blavatnik Awards Laureates and Finalists in the UK will be honored at a gala dinner and ceremony at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London on March 6, 2019. The following day the honorees will present their research in a symposium open to the public entitled Cure, Create, Innovate: 9 Young Scientists Transforming Our World to be held at the Science Museum, London on March 7, 2019 which is a free event to all Academy Members.

To learn more about the Blavatnik Awards and its cohort of Awards programs in the US, UK and Israel please visit the Blavatnik website here and follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @BlavatnikAwards