First ever Blavatnik award wins for Heriot-Watt and Innes centre as nine share honours
21 Jan 2024
Nine scientists have shared the 2024 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK and with it a share in almost half a million pounds-worth of prize money.
Three of the recipients receive the highest award of laureate in a trio of categories – each valued at £100,000 of the £480,000 overall prize money.
Chemical Sciences Laureate: professor Anthony P. Green of The University of Manchester for his discoveries in designing and engineering new enzymes.
Laureate in Physical Sciences & Engineering: professor Rahul R. Nair, also from Manchester, for developing novel membranes based on two-dimensional materials that will enable energy-efficient separation and filtration technologies.
Life Sciences Laureate : Computational biologist Dr. Nicholas McGranahan of University College London (UCL), was named the. His research explores how to harness evolutionary principles to understand cancers and why tumours are so difficult to treat.
The remaining £180,000 of prize money is divided equally among the six finalists, with two drawn from each award category. The recipients include:
Fernanda Duarte, PhD, from the University of Oxford (Chemical Sciences)
Samuel D. Stranks, DPhil, from the University of Cambridge (Chemical Sciences)
Jayne Birkby, PhD, from the University of Oxford (Physical Sciences & Engineering)
Mehul Malik, PhD, from Heriot-Watt University (Physical Sciences & Engineering)
Tanmay Bharat, PhD, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Life Sciences)
Yiliang Ding, PhD, from the John Innes Centre (Life Sciences)
Judges noted that this was the first year that scientists from Edinburgh-based Heriot-Watt University and the Norwich-based John Innes Centre had received Blavatnik Awards. A total of 84 nominations were made by 40 universities and research institutions.
Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Sir Leonard Blavatnik remarked: “We are proud that the Awards have promoted both UK science and the careers of many brilliant young scientists and we look forward to their additional discoveries in the years ahead.
“Providing recognition and funding early in a scientist’s career can make the difference between discoveries that remain in the lab and those that make transformative scientific breakthroughs.”
By the end of this year, the Blavatnik Awards worldwide will have awarded prizes totalling US$17.2 million with an estimated 60% of all recipients being immigrants to the country in which they were recognised.
The 2024 Blavatnik Awards in the UK’s laureates and finalists will be honoured at a black-tie gala dinner and award ceremony at Banqueting House in Whitehall, London, on 27 February. See last year's Blavatnik Awards ceremony below.
Pic: from top row l to r – laureates Green, Nair, McGranahan, and finalists Duarte, Stranks, Birkby, Malik, Bharat and Ding.