Three Israeli Researchers Win Prestigious Award For Young Scientists

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Three Israeli researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Weizmann Institute of Science were announced as the winners of a prestigious award for young scientists on Tuesday and are set to receive a prize of $100,000 each for their work.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists are handed to promising young scientists and engineers under the age of 42 for breakthrough research in life sciences, chemistry, and physical sciences and engineering. They were first established in 2007 by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences.

The awards made their Israel debut in 2017 in collaboration with the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Three laureates, one in each category are independently selected each year by three distinguished juries composed of Israel’s leading scientists.

The three laureates of the 2021 Blavatnik Awards in Israel were selected among 37 nominees from seven universities across the country.

Menny Shalom, a professor of Chemistry at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), was selected for the award in the chemistry category for his development of new types of advanced materials for alternative energy sources., which can be utilized in the development of solar cells, batteries, and fuel cells. This is the first time a scientist from Ben-Gurion University has been a recipient of a Blavatnik award, a statement from BGU said.

Noam Stern-Ginossar, an associate professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, was recognized in the life sciences category for her 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.

Ronen Eldan, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science was recognized in the physical sciences and engineering category Recognized for contributions to high dimensional probability, a mathematical subject that deals with datasets with a very large number of variables.

“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.”

The 2021 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel will be conferred, pandemic restrictions allowing, at a ceremony at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in August.

The 2022 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel will be conferred at a ceremony at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation in Tel Aviv-Jaffa in June.

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