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Ewa Paluch receives 2019 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists in the UK

last modified Jan 14, 2019 11:16 AM
Prof Paluch is the 2019 Laureate in Life Sciences and will receive the award and associated cash prize at the March Blavatnik Awards Ceremony to be held at the V&A.

The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences  announced the Laureates and Finalists of the 2019 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom. One Laureate from each of the three categories of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry will receive an unrestricted prize of US$100,000; additionally, two Finalists in every category will receive unrestricted prizes of US$30,000 each. The Blavatnik Awards are the largest unrestricted cash prizes available exclusively to young scientists and engineers in the UK under the age of 42.

Prof Ewa Paluch of PDN and UCL has received the award in the Life Sciences category. Prof Paluch’s novel discoveries are at the forefront of cell biology: she has elucidated key biophysical mechanisms of cell division and migration, and has established physiological roles of cellular protrusions known as “blebs.” Previously thought to exist only in sick or dying cells, she established that these protrusions on the cell surface are common in healthy cells, and that blebs have important functions in cell movement and division. Her work will influence treatment for diseases such as cancer, where cell shape and migration are key to disease pathology, and she is leading the field towards a complete understanding of how the laws of physics affect the behaviour of cells.

Recognising and encouraging the brilliant talent of the UK’s best young scientists through the Blavatnik Awards is our honour,” said Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries, head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation, and member of the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences. "By supporting young scientists as they embark on their careers, we create a positive impact on the country’s future prosperity, accelerating scientific discovery and innovation that mankind can benefit from, and encouraging others to follow their path."

The 2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates and Finalists come from universities and institutions across the country. They are making headlines across medical and tech communities for discoveries and innovation in projects ranging from cell biology to neuron function analysis, to new molecular optical methodologies, advances in cyber security and radical breakthroughs in fundamental physics. Despite their young age, their research is already directly impacting human lives through technology and medicine and by helping to change our understanding of the world.

Last year, our first year of administering the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom, we were touched by the reaction of leaders of the UK’s scientific community who agreed that there is no other prize in the UK that honours the achievements and, most especially, future promise of young scientists,” said Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council. "On behalf of our global Academy we have been thrilled to see so many institutions recognised through their fantastic honourees. And we are enormously proud to collaborate with the UK’s esteemed jury and Scientific Advisory Council members.”

The Blavatnik Awards in the UK sit alongside their global counterparts, the Blavatnik National Awards in the United States and the Blavatnik Awards in Israel, and all honour and support exceptional early-career scientists and engineers at lecturer level and above. The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists were established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in the United States in 2007 and are administered by the New York Academy of Sciences. By the end of 2019, the Blavatnik Awards will have given prizes totalling US$8.4 million, honouring 300 outstanding young scientists and engineers from more than 44 countries representing 35 scientific and engineering disciplines.

The 2019 Blavatnik Awards Laureates and Finalists in the UK will be honoured at a gala dinner and ceremony at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London on 6th March, 2019. The following day the honourees will present their research in a public symposium entitled Cure, Create, Innovate: 9 Young Scientists Transforming Our World to be held at the Science Museum, London on 7th March, 2019.

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