Three Women Named 2019 Laureates of the Blavatnick National Awards for Young Scientists

The Blavatnick Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences have announced the three 2019 Laureates of the Blavatnick National Awards for Young Scientists. The awards recognize outstanding young scientists in three disciplines: life sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and chemistry. For the first time in the program’s 13-year history, all of the recipients are women. Each woman receives a $250,000 prize.

Heather J. Lynch is an associate professor with a joint appointment in ecology and evolution and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University in New York. She was honored in the life sciences discipline for her unique synthesis of cutting-edge statistics, mathematical models, satellite remote sensing, and Antarctic field biology to understand the spatial and temporal patterns of penguin colonies to predict population growth, collapse, and possible extinction in the face of climate change.

Dr. Lynch is a graduate of Princeton University in New Jersey, where she majored in physics. She holds a master’s degree in physics and a Ph.D. in organismal and evolutionary biology both from Harvard University.

Ana Maria Rey is a JILA fellow and associate research professor of physics at the University of Colorado. She was honored in the physics and engineering discipline for her pioneering contributions made to the field of theoretical atomic, molecular, and optical physics, including her paradigm-shifting theories on atomic collisions, which led to the development of the world’s most accurate atomic clock.

Dr. Rey is a graduate of the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Columbia, where she majored in physics. She holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland.

Emily Balskus is the Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. She was honored in the chemistry discipline for her transformative work identifying the novel chemistry of the gut microbiome and deciphering its role in human health and disease.

Dr. Balskus graduated as valedictorian of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she majored in chemistry. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in England and a Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University.

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