Blavatnik, NY Academy of Sciences Name 2018 Young Scientists

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The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences have announced the three winners of the 2018 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists.

Supporting outstanding postdoctoral scientists from academic research institutions across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut since 2007, the Blavatnik Regional Awards pay tribute to researchers in three scientific disciplinary categories: life sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and chemistry. A jury of senior scientists and engineers selects a winner who is awarded a $30,000 unrestricted prize, and two finalists who each collect $10,000, from each category.

For the life sciences, Shruti Naik, who was nominated by Rockefeller University (now the NYU School of Medicine), was recognized for demonstrating that skin stem cells retain a “memory” of previous inflammatory experiences, allowing for a more robust and rapid response to subsequent injury.

For physical sciences and engineering, Lingyan Shi at Columbia University was recognized for pioneering work that applies novel optical techniques for neuroscience and cancer research, including recent discovery of the “Golden Optical Window” for deep brain imaging, and a breakthrough platform for imaging metabolic activities in situ.

For chemistry, Lu Wei, who was nominated by Columbia University and is now at Caltech, was recognized for developing novel bioimaging techniques coupled with chemical innovations that allow simultaneous visualization of four times the number of distinctive biological species in live cells and tissues that conventional methods are capable of.

This year, the Blavatnik Regional Awards received 125 nominations from 22 academic institutions in the New York metropolitan area. This year marks the first time when the jury selected three female winners, all of whom are leading young scientists in their respective fields of research.

“These outstanding, early-career scientists are highly innovative and inspirational,” said Len Blavatnik, founder and chairman of Access Industries and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. “We are proud of their contributions to science and excited to observe how their current and future discoveries will make the world a better place.”

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of many educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the U.S., U.K., Israel, and throughout the world. The foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, a global industrialist and philanthropist. Blavatnik is the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held industrial group headquartered in New York City with global strategic interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, venture capital, and real estate.

Published: October 2018
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