Manchester professors honoured in 2024 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists
Two University of Manchester professors have been recognised in the prestigious 2024 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.
Today, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and The New York Academy of Sciences announced the nine recipients of the 2024 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK, including three Laureates and six finalists.
Professor Anthony Green and Professor Rahul Nair are named among the three Laureates, who will each receive £100,000 in recognition of their work in Chemical Sciences and Physical Sciences & Engineering, respectively.
Now in its seventh year, the awards are the largest unrestricted prizes available to UK scientists aged 42 or younger. The awards recognise research that is transforming medicine, technology and our understanding of the world.
This year’s Laureates were selected by an independent jury of expert scientists from across the UK.
Professor Anthony Green, a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry from The University of Manchester, has been named the Chemical Sciences Laureate for his discoveries in designing and engineering new enzymes, with valuable catalytic functions previously unknown in nature that address societal needs. Recent examples include the development of biocatalysts to produce COVID-19 therapies to break down plastics, and to use visible light to drive chemical reactions.
Rahul Nair, Professor of Materials Physics at The University of Manchester, was named Laureate in Physical Sciences & Engineering for developing novel membranes based on two-dimensional (2D) materials that will enable energy-efficient separation and filtration technologies. Using graphene and other 2D materials, his research aims to study the transport of water, organic molecules, and ions at the nanoscale, exploring its potential applications to address societal challenges, including water filtration and other separation technologies.
“Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly separation technologies are crucial for sustainable development. My research focuses on studying molecular transport through two-dimensional nanocapillaries and exploring its potential applications in water filtration and other separation technologies. I am delighted to learn that I have been selected as the Blavatnik Laureate in Physical Sciences and Engineering. I am grateful to my past and present research group members, collaborators, and mentors for their contributions to this success.”
Internationally recognised by the scientific community, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists are instrumental in expanding the engagement and recognition of young scientists and provide the support and encouragement needed to drive scientific innovation for the next generation.
Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation, said: “Providing recognition and funding early in a scientist’s career can make the difference between discoveries that remain in the lab and those that make transformative scientific breakthroughs.
“We are proud that the Awards have promoted both UK science and the careers of many brilliant young scientists and we look forward to their additional discoveries in the years ahead.”
Professor Nicholas B. Dirks, President and CEO of The New York Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council, added: “From studying cancer to identifying water in far-off planets, to laying the groundwork for futuristic quantum communications systems, to making enzymes never seen before in a lab or in nature, this year’s Laureates and Finalists are pushing the boundaries of science and working to make the world a better place. Thank you to this year’s jury for sharing their time and expertise in selecting these daring and bold scientists as the winning Laureates and Finalists of the 2024 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.”
The 2024 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates and Finalists will be honoured at a black-tie gala dinner and award ceremony at Banqueting House in Whitehall, London, on 27 February 2024.