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The New York Academy of Sciences Announces Finalists for the 2011 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

Thirteen outstanding young scientists from 10 tri-state academic and research institutions have been named finalists.

Published June 10, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences Announces Finalists for the 2011 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

The New York Academy of Sciences has named the finalists for the annual Blavatnik Awards, which are made possible by a grant from the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The awards recognize highly impactful, innovative, and interdisciplinary accomplishments in the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering.

The 2011 finalists are:

•  Robert Anderson, Ecology, City College of New York
•  Johannes Gehrke, Computer Science, Cornell University
•  Charalampos Kalodimos, Chemistry, Rutgers University
•  Jun Korenaga, Earth Science, Yale University
•  Szabolcs Marka, Astronomy, Astrophysics & Cosmology, Columbia University
•  Olga Troyanskaya, Computational Biology, Princeton University
•  Gerard Wysocki, Electrical Engineering, Princeton University

•  Roberto Bonasio, Biochemistry, New York University
•  Mary Kay Lobo, Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
•  Shaun Olsen, Structural Biology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
•  Franck Oury, Physiology, Columbia University
•  Valentino Tosatti, Mathematics, Columbia University
•  Ruth Van de Water, Nuclear & Particle Physics, Brookhaven National Laboratory

"For a fifth consecutive year, the New York Academy of Sciences has teamed up with the Blavatnik Family Foundation to recognize extraordinary young scientists in the world's greatest cluster of universities and academic medical centers. There is no other prize that covers all disciplines of science and engineering, and it is multidisciplinary work that is driving most of science's greatest advances," said Academy President Ellis Rubinstein.

After rounds of rigorous reviews, a jury of 58 leading scientists selected the 6 postdoctoral and 7 faculty finalists from a group of more than 130 nominees. Faculty finalists receive up to $25,000 and postdoctoral finalists are awarded up to $15,000 in unrestricted funds.

"Developing and rewarding strong scientific talent is essential if we are to successfully address the complex challenges facing our world," said Len Blavatnik, Chairman of Access Industries. "The Blavatnik Family Foundation is proud to provide support and encouragement to our most promising young scientists. They represent our future and our hope for a better world for all."

The 2011 finalists represent 13 scientific disciplines. Those in faculty positions conduct research in the fields of ecology, computer science, chemistry, earth sciences, astronomy, astrophysics & cosmology, computational biology and electrical engineering. Postdoctoral students are pursuing work in the areas of biochemistry, neuroscience, structural biology, physiology, mathematics and nuclear & particle physics.

Winners will be announced and all finalists honored at the Academy's 8th annual Science & the City Gala, on Monday November 14, 2011. For more information about the Gala please contact Erica Nofi, Development Associate, The New York Academy of Sciences, at or (212) 298-8675.

For more information about the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, including arranging interviews with finalists or judges, please see or contact Marley Bauce, Awards Coordinator, The New York Academy of Sciences, at or (212) 298-8624.


About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide since 1817. With 25,000 members in 140 countries, NYAS is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. NYAS' 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. For more information, please visit

About The Blavatnik Family Foundation
The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and throughout the world. Recipients of Foundation support include Oxford University, Harvard University, Tel Aviv University, The Royal Opera House, The Hermitage, The National Portrait Gallery, The British Museum, The National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Academy of Sciences, The White Nights Foundation, The Center for Jewish History and other Jewish causes as well as many other philanthropic institutions. The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, an American industrialist. 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, and real estate.