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Photonics Researchers Win Blavatnik Awards

NEW YORK, July 29, 2014 — The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences has recognized two photonics researchers with the 2014 Blavatnik National Awards.

The award honors young American scientists and engineers; each winner receives $250,000. The three national laureates and 27 finalists will be honored at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in September.

Dr. Adam Cohen, a professor of chemistry, chemical biology and physics at Harvard University, was recognized for work on cellular imaging techniques that allow for the observation of neural activity in real time with single-cell resolution. Cohen uses microscopy and lasers to develop noninvasive methods for visualizing and studying the roles of cellular voltage in the brain, which could lead to treatments for diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), epilepsy and bipolar disorders.

Dr. Marin Soljacic, a professor of physics at MIT, was recognized for his exploration of nonlinear optical phenomena and his work on wireless energy transfer using magnetic fields.

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