Announcing the 2016 National Finalists

The Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists announced today the 31 National Finalists who will be competing for three spots as the 2016 Blavatnik National Laureates. The Finalists were selected from 308 nominations of outstanding faculty-rank researchers from 148 of the nation’s leading academic and research institutions. 

To see the full list of National Finalists along with photos and links to their research web pages, please click here

The annual Blavatnik Awards, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in 2007 and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, celebrate exceptional young researchers who drive the next generation of scientific innovation by answering the most complex scientific questions of today. The three National Laureates will be announced in June 2016 and will each receive an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000, the largest prize of its kind for early-career scientists.

2016 Disciplinary Trends

This year’s Life Sciences Finalists are addressing difficult scientific questions with transformative insight, innovative strategies, and revolutionary technologies. Their work includes uncovering unexpected cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for gene regulation and editing, and epigenetic phenomena; making breakthroughs in the understanding and management of infectious diseases, including HIV, Ebola virus, and Lassa fever; studying the human microbiome and microbial communities; and exploring the history of life on earth to reveal how species and populations have evolved.

The 2016 National Finalists in Physical Sciences & Engineering are helping to solve the mysteries of the universe and creating breakthrough technologies. Their achievements include advancing our understanding of fundamental physics; searching for planets and habitable worlds beyond the solar system and exploring the formation of galaxies; creating transformative imaging technology and algorithms to visualize objects as small as molecules and viruses; engineering materials with unprecedented properties, and designing a new generation of energy storage devices.

The 2016 National Finalists in Chemistry are performing revolutionary research that has the potential to improve lives around the globe. Their efforts include the development of novel synthetic methodology and RNA-based drug discovery; creating novel microscopy techniques and applying the technology to the design of solar cells and analysis of biological systems; developing more accurate computational models of chemical reactivity; tuning and scaling hard and soft nanostructures and investigating their materials-dependent properties; and elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which microbiota can influence their host. 

The National Laureates and Finalists will be honored at an annual awards ceremony on Monday, September 12, 2016, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

In addition, on July 18-19, 2016, the Academy and the Blavatnik Family Foundation will host the third annual Blavatnik Science Symposium featuring research of the 2016 National Finalists and Blavatnik Awards honorees from previous years. The event will also include members of the Blavatnik Awards National Jury and Scientific Advisory Council, as well as other scientific luminaries.