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Nine UK Scientific Leaders Celebrated at Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists Awards Ceremony

BAYS UK 2024 Honorees

28 February 2024 – London, UK: On Tuesday 27 February, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences honoured the research of nine scientists in the fields of Physical Sciences & Engineering, Chemistry, and Life Sciences at the seventh annual ceremony of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.

Now in its seventh year, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK represents the most substantial unrestricted awards for UK scientists under the age of 42, contributing £3.3 million to support researchers in UK academia since their establishment. Acknowledged globally within the scientific community, they play a crucial role in fostering the involvement and acknowledgment of early career scientists.

Professor Irene Tracey CBE, FMedSci, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and renowned neuroscientist, presented the ceremony and awards, 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, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, Nicholas B. Dirks 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.”

Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and Head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation added: “Congratulations to the exceptional winners of this year’s UK Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. We are proud that the Awards continue to support the careers of inspiring individuals, whose scientific research will pave the way for a brighter future.”  

For each category—Physical Sciences & Engineering, Chemistry, and Life Sciences— a Laureate was awarded £100,000, and two Finalists were each awarded prizes of £30,000. This year’s Awards celebrated advancements including enhanced crop growth through innovative RNA structure research, detecting life-signalling molecules on planets beyond our solar system, creating unprecedented enzymes, and pioneering the encoding of photons for high-capacity quantum communication networks. 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:


  • Anthony Green, PhD (Chemical Sciences) – The University of Manchester
  • Rahul R. Nair, PhD (Physical Sciences & Engineering) – The University of Manchester
  • Nicholas McGranahan, PhD (Life Sciences) – University College London


  • Fernanda Duarte, PhD (Chemical Sciences – The University of Oxford
  • Samuel D. Stranks, DPhil (Chemical Sciences) – The University of Cambridge
  • Jayne Birkby, PhD (Physical Sciences & Engineering) – The 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 shedding light on their respective fields.

On Wednesday, 28 February, each of the Laureates and Finalists presented their groundbreaking research during the Blavatnik Awards public symposium “Sparking Innovation: UK Scientists Changing Our World” taking place at RSA House, London.

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 Sir Leonard Blavatnik, founder and chairman 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 more than US$1 billion to more than 250 organizations.

About The New York Academy of Sciences  

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organisation 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 Scientistsis 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   


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