Prestigious Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel Announces 2024 Laureates

לקריאת ההודעה בעברית לחצו כאן

Three scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel will each be awarded US$100,000 for their groundbreaking scientific research

Jerusalem, March 26, 2024 – The Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and The New York Academy of Sciences announced today the Laureates of the 2024 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel. This year’s Laureates, who will each receive US$100,000, are:

Schraga Schwartz, PhD (Life Sciences)Weizmann Institute of Science – Recognized for developing groundbreaking analytical methods to locate and quantify chemical changes in RNA. Professor Schwartz’s breakthroughs in understanding RNA modifications hold promise for treating genetic diseases and expanding the role of RNA editing beyond vaccine development.


Moran Shalev-Benami, PhD (Chemical Sciences) Weizmann Institute of Science – Recognized for the discovery of key sensing and signaling mechanisms in the brain that can be directly translated to precision medicine. Dr. Shalev-Benami’s work is informing the development of new therapeutics to treat appetite disorders and is exploring how light could be used to modify brain activity in living organisms.


Thomas Vidick, PhD (Physical Sciences & Engineering) Weizmann Institute of Science – Recognized for pioneering research exploring how quantum principles can be used to create more powerful computers. Professor Vidick’s research represents a significant milestone in our quest to understand the power and limitations of quantum computing and will advance the security of digital communications.


The Blavatnik Awards recognize outstanding, innovative scientists at the early stages of their careers for both their extraordinary achievements and their promise for future discoveries. The prizes are awarded to researchers aged 42 and younger for groundbreaking work in the disciplines of Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, and Physical Sciences & Engineering. The Blavatnik Awards in Israel sit alongside their international counterparts, the Blavatnik National Awards and Blavatnik Regional Awards in the United States and the Blavatnik Awards in the United Kingdom.

The 2024 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel will be conferred at a ceremony held at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation in Tel Aviv-Jaffa in June 2024.

The 2024 Laureates join young scientists from across Israel who have been honored by the Blavatnik Awards since they were launched in 2017. In addition, the Laureates become part of the international Blavatnik Science Scholars community, whose recipients will have been awarded prizes totaling US$17.2 million by the close of 2024.

Blavatnik Awards scholars are driving economic growth by embarking on new scientific trajectories to pursue high-risk, high-reward scientific research. To date, Blavatnik Awards honorees have founded 72 companies, many of which are now publicly traded on major global stock exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq Stock Market. After recognition by the Blavatnik Awards, 30% of past honorees have obtained a patent or filed a patent application, 75% have started a new research direction, and 11% have started a new collaboration with another Blavatnik Awards honoree.

"Israel has always been a powerhouse of scientific breakthroughs and technological innovation,” said Len Blavatnik, Founder of Access Industries and Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. "These exceptional scientists demonstrate the enormous impact that Israeli innovation, creativity and discovery have on shaping the future and are outstanding examples of the Israeli spirit and resilience. We are proud to honor them and look forward to their future work."

Professor Nicholas B. Dirks, President and CEO of The New York Academy of Sciences, said, “We congratulate the Weizmann Institute of Science, whose faculty received all three Blavatnik Awards this year. I'm sure that Professor Chaim Weizmann, who not only founded the Weizmann Institute but was the first president of Israel and a scientist himself, would be very proud. We look forward to following the future transformative scientific work of this year’s Laureates.”

Professor David Harel, President of The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, said, “Today we recognize the exceptional achievements of the very best of young Israeli scientists. This is doubly important at the present time, with Israel going through one of its worst periods, exacerbated by unprecedented obstacles for Israel’s science. We are especially grateful to the Blavatnik Family Foundation and The New York Academy of Sciences for our continued partnership in this wonderful endeavor. … Israel’s positioning at the forefront of global science, merit of scholarship and economic stability are reliant upon the accomplishments and excellence of its scientists. We are proud to honor this year’s Blavatnik Awards Laureates, and we celebrate their innovative breakthroughs with confidence in the far-reaching, positive impact of their achievements on society at large.”

During the nomination period for the 2024 Blavatnik Awards, 42 nominations were received from eight universities across Israel. Members of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council – which includes Nobel Laureates Professors Aaron Ciechanover, David Gross and Sir Richard Roberts, along with former Chairman of the Israel Space Agency, Professor Isaac Ben-Israel – were also invited to submit nominations. Three distinguished juries, composed of leading scientists representing the three disciplinary categories and led by Israel Academy members, selected the 2024 Laureates.

About the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in 2007 and independently administered by The New York Academy of Sciences, began by identifying outstanding scientific talent in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In 2014, the Blavatnik National Awards were created to recognize faculty-rank scientists throughout the United States. In 2017, the Awards were further expanded to honor faculty-rank scientists in the UK and Israel. For updates about the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, please visit or follow us on X and Facebook @BlavatnikAwards.

About the Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Family Foundation provides many of the world’s best researchers, scientists and future leaders with the support and funding needed to solve humankind’s greatest challenges. Led by Len Blavatnik, founder of Access Industries, the Foundation advances and promotes innovation, discovery and creativity to benefit the whole of society. Over the past decade, the Foundation has contributed over US$1 billion to more than 250 organizations. See more at

About The New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that, since 1817, has been committed to advancing science for the benefit of society. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries, the Academy advances scientific and technical knowledge, addresses global challenges with science-based solutions, and sponsors a wide variety of educational initiatives at all levels for STEM and STEM-related fields. The Academy hosts programs and publishes content in the areas of life and physical sciences, the social sciences, nutrition, artificial intelligence, computer science, and sustainability. The Academy also provides professional and educational resources for researchers across all phases of their careers. The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists is part of a series of prominent awards and scholarship programs that the Academy and its partners present each year to accomplished early-career and established scientists worldwide. These initiatives, along with education and professional development programs for students and young scientists, reflect the Academy’s broader commitment to strengthening and diversifying the pipeline for skilled and talented scientists globally. Please visit us online at

About The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities is Israel’s flagship scientific institution. It was established by law in 1961 and acts as a national focal point for Israeli scholarship in all branches of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. The Academy’s membership comprises 147 of Israel’s most distinguished scientists and scholars in its two sections – the Sciences Section and the Humanities Section. It is tasked with promoting Israeli scientific excellence, advising the government on scientific matters of national interest, publishing scholarly research of lasting merit and maintaining active contact with the broader international scientific and scholarly community. For more information about The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, please visit

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