Blavatnik Awards in the United Kingdom Celebrates the 2024 Laureates and Finalists


On Tuesday, 27th February 2024, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and The New York Academy of Sciences honoured nine outstanding scientists in the fields of Physical Sciences & Engineering, Chemical Sciences, and Life Sciences at the seventh annual ceremony of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK held at the historic Banqueting House in Whitehall, London.

Now in its seventh year, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK represent the most substantial unrestricted awards for UK scientists under the age of 42, contributing since their establishment £3.3 million (US $4.2 million) to support researchers in UK academia. Recognised globally within the scientific community, the awards play a crucial role in recognising and supporting the research of early career scientists.



Professor Irene Tracey CBE, FRS, FMedSci, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and renowned neuroscientist, served as presenter for the awards ceremony, remarking: “Tonight, we are not only recognising the exceptional work that our Blavatnik Awards honourees have already done, we’re also asserting our belief in ideas and a world where these scientists and others can pursue those ideas, for the future benefit of all.”

Commenting on the Awards’ impact, Nicholas B. Dirks, President and CEO of The New York Academy of Sciences, said: “To date, Blavatnik Awards honourees have founded 72 companies, with over 50 of them founded after they were first recognised by the Blavatnik Awards, and six of which have traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. These outstanding individuals are using science to advance the public good while driving economic growth worldwide.”

Approximately 120 guests attended the ceremony, including leaders in science, academia, government, business, and previous awardees. Distinguished guests included Chairman of Access Industries and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Sir Leonard Blavatnik; Member of the House of Lords, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones; Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research, Prof. the Lord Darzi of Denham; President-Elect of the Royal Society of Medicine, Prof. Gillian Leng; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Prof. Deborah Prentice; Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, Prof. Evelyn Welch; President & Provost, University College London (UCL), Dr. Michael Spence; Former Chair of Cancer Research UK, Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

For each category—Physical Sciences & Engineering, Chemical Sciences, and Life Sciences— a Laureate was awarded £100,000, and two Finalists were each awarded prizes of £30,000. This year’s Awards celebrated new scientific advancements, including the application of AI and evolutionary principles to develop new ways to treat cancer, discovery of a new carbon-based membrane for building filtration systems to clean water, and the development of customised enzymes to manufacture new pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. As each honouree was recognised, the audience viewed a film introducing their groundbreaking research before they were presented with a Blavatnik Awards medal.

To watch the honouree films, click on the links to the honouree profile pages below:



  • Fernanda Duarte, PhD (Chemical Sciences – University of Oxford
  • Samuel D. Stranks, DPhil (Chemical Sciences) - University of Cambridge
  • Jayne Birkby, PhD (Physical Sciences & Engineering) - University of Oxford
  • Mehul Malik, PhD (Physical Sciences & Engineering) - Heriot-Watt University
  • Tanmay Bharat, PhD (Life Sciences) - MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
  • Yiliang Ding, PhD (Life Sciences) - John Innes Centre

Speeches were made by each of the Laureates after receiving their medals, where they highlighted their research and the importance of the awards for advancing research in their respective fields.

The next day, 28th February all nine Laureates and Finalists presented their cutting-edge research during the Blavatnik Awards public symposium “Sparking Innovation: UK Scientists Changing Our World” held at the RSA House in London. The scientists’ presentations during the Blavatnik Awards public symposium are available on-demand here until February 2025: