Two Oxford scientists have been recognised today in The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, the largest unrestricted cash prizes available to scientists under the age of 42.
Professor Timothy Behrens, from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, receives a Laureateship worth £75,000 in the Life Sciences category. He has developed innovative models for mapping the brain’s electrical signals that have significant implications for brain surgery, the treatment of mental disorders, and artificial intelligence.
Professor Behrens said: ‘Being a scientist is like staying a kid all your life. Every day is an adventure, and some days you discover something so cool you want to tell your mum about it. I feel very privileged to do it for a living. It is wonderful that the Blavatnik Family Foundation is supporting UK science, and I am completely thrilled and honoured to be this year’s Laureate in Life Sciences.’
Professor Eleanor Stride, from the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, receives an award worth £23,000 as a Finalist. She is pioneering radical microbubble technology to develop more effective cancer treatments.
Dr. Brooke Grindlinger, Chief Scientific Officer, Scientific Programs & Awards at The New York Academy of Sciences, said of Prof Eleanor Stride: ‘As a leader in the field of microbubble bioengineering, Prof Eleanor Stride is pushing the boundary of what we think is possible in clinical translational research. From the development of microbubbles as drug delivery vessels and their directed use as therapy for disease, to the creation of startup companies and public engagement, Prof Stride is a bold, young innovator improving lives and inspiring minds.’
Professor Stride said: ‘I was amazed and absolutely thrilled to receive the call from the Blavatnik Awards team. I am incredibly lucky to work with a fantastic multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and clinicians and to be doing research with the potential to have real and positive impact on patient treatment.’
Despite being still in the early stages of their careers, their research is already changing science and our understanding of the world.
Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, and member of the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, said: ‘The UK has cultivated much of the world’s leading scientific talent. We are incredibly proud to elevate these select scientists to an international stage that will enable them to be recognised globally, prepare them to become world-class leaders in their scientific fields, and propel the wheel of innovation and societal progress.’
Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council, said: ‘With over 13 years’ experience independently administering the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the US, the UK, and Israel, our Academy has seen first-hand how they have changed the lives of young scientists. Many recipients have gone on to receive other prestigious accolades, and some have even mentored the next generation of Blavatnik Scholars. These awards have given these young scientists the confidence to take big risks in their research -and to reap the rewards that come with thinking big.’
In their third year, the 2020 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK received 80 nominations from 41 academic and research institutions across the UK.
The 2020 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates and Finalists will be honoured at a ceremony at Banqueting House in London on 4 March 2020.
On 5 March 2020, the honourees will present their research with a series of short, interactive lectures at a public symposium. The event, “Game Changers: 9 Young Scientists Transforming Our World”, will be held at Banqueting House in London from 11am to 6pm, and includes a reception, during which attendees can meet the honourees. The event is free and open to the public. To attend the symposium, register at https://www.nyas.org/youngscientists2020.
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