Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists Announce 2021 Laureates, in America's Largest Unrestricted Scientific Prize for Promising Young Researchers

The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences announced today a neuroscientist, inorganic chemist, and an electrical engineer as the laureates of the 2021 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. Each will receive $250,000, the largest unrestricted scientific prize for America’s most innovative young faculty-rank scientists and engineers.

They are:

  • Kay M. Tye, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., who studies the neural pathways of addiction and compulsive behavior.
  • Mircea Dincă, an inorganic chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who develops metal-organic frameworks.
  • Andrea Alù, an electrical engineer and physicist at the Graduate Center, the City University of New York, who studies nano-structured metamaterials.

“These remarkable scientists and engineers are expanding our world through their groundbreaking research,” said Len 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. “Their discoveries are improving the human experience and the future will be made better by their work and innovations.”

The 2021 Blavatnik National Awards competition received 298 nominees from 157 research institutions across 38 states. The three independent juries—one for each of the awards’ categories of life sciences, chemistry and physical sciences and engineering—were composed of some of America’s most distinguished scientists. These judges selected the laureates from a group of 31 finalists.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists will celebrate the 2021 Blavatnik National Awards laureates and finalists in a ceremony Sept. 28 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Due to prior pandemic restrictions, the laureates and finalists of the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards and the honorees of the 2020 Blavatnik Regional Awards also will also be celebrated at this event.