The Blavatnik Family Foundation, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities announced on Wednesday the laureates of the 2022 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel.
This year’s laureates, who will each receive US$100,000, are:
- Noam Stern-Ginossar, PhD (Life Sciences), of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who was recognized for developing groundbreaking analytical tools to study viral gene regulation in cytomegalovirus. These tools include the use of ribosome profiling to generate high resolution maps of the genome, and have also been applied to characterize the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Menny Shalom, PhD (Chemistry), of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, who was recognized for the development of new types of advanced materials for alternative energy sources. These low-cost materials are stable under harsh conditions and can be utilized in the development of solar cells, batteries, and fuel cells.
- Ronen Eldan, PhD (Physical Sciences & Engineering), of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who was recognized for groundbreaking contributions to high dimensional probability, a mathematical subject that deals with datasets with a very large number of variables. He has solved long-standing, open conjectures in this area, and has developed techniques that have found wide applications across the fields of statistics and computer science.
The Blavatnik Awards recognize exceptional scientists at the early stages of their careers for their achievements and their demonstrated potential for future discoveries. The prizes are awarded to researchers aged 42 and younger for groundbreaking work in the disciplines of Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences & Engineering. The Blavatnik Awards in Israel parallel their international counterparts, the Blavatnik National Awards and Blavatnik Regional Awards in the United States, and the Blavatnik Awards in the United Kingdom.
The 2022 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel will be conferred at a ceremony held at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation in Tel Aviv-Jaffa on June 8, 2022. The laureates will join a cadre of young scientists from across Israel who have been honored by the Blavatnik Awards in Israel since the launch of the Awards in 2017. In addition, the laureates will become part of the international Blavatnik Science Scholars community, which, by the close of 2022, will total over 400 young scientists from around the world.
Each summer the laureates are invited to attend the annual Blavatnik Science Symposium in New York City hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences, where past and present Blavatnik Awards honorees from around the world come together to share new ideas and forge collaborations for novel, cross-disciplinary research.
"Israel's remarkable science is led by brilliant young men and women who push boundaries with discoveries that improve lives and expand knowledge,” said Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. “We honor these three outstanding, innovative scientists for their significant contributions and look forward to their future work and discoveries in the years to come."
Nicholas B. Dirks, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, said, “Israel has a long history of investing in academic science. As a result, Israel is now a thriving global center of scientific research and technological innovation. We are proud to administer the Blavatnik Awards in its fifth year in Israel with our partner, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and to recognize this year’s exceptional young Blavatnik Awards in Israel laureates, including the first laureate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.”
Professor David Harel, President of The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, said, “In this challenging pandemic period, we take pride in continuing our collaboration with the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences to maintain the tradition of bestowing these distinguished awards upon outstanding Israeli scientists. We are confident that the present massive investment will yield significant benefits for the international scientific community and will inspire future generations of scientists to follow in the footsteps of this year’s laureates, by leading humanity to further magnificent breakthroughs.”
During the nomination period for the 2022 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel, 37 nominations were received from seven universities across the country. Members of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council, which includes Nobel laureates, Professors Aaron Ciechanover and David Gross and Professor Sir Richard Roberts, along with Chairman of the Israel Space Agency and Chairman of the National Council for R&D for the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel, Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, were also invited to submit nominations. Three distinguished juries composed of leading scientists representing the three disciplinary categories and led by Israel Academy members, selected the 2022 laureates.