Three Israeli Researchers Win Prestigious Science Award

Three Israeli researchers were announced as the winners of a top science award and are set to receive a prize of $100,000 each at the second annual Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists are handed to promising young scientists and engineers under the age of 42 for breakthrough research in Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences and Engineering. They were first established in 2007 by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences. The awards made their Israel debut in 2017 in collaboration with the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, honoring three top scientists from Tel Aviv University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

The laureates of the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in Israel are: Dr. Michal Rivlin, a senior scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Department of Neurobiology, whose “research has led to a paradigm shift in our understanding of the retina, a part of the eye where all visual processes begin,” according to award organizers; Dr. Moran Bercovici, an associate professor at the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, for his “innovative research in microfluidics, contributing to fundamental understanding of the chemical and physical behavior of fluids at extremely small scales, as well as to the invention of cutting-edge technologies in this field”; and Dr. Erez Berg, an associate professor at the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Condensed Matter Physics, for his “creative and influential theoretical studies to gain valuable insights into quantum materials — materials whose electronic properties cannot be understood with concepts from contemporary physics textbooks.”

“For over 70 years, Israeli innovation has led to groundbreaking discoveries in science and technology,” said Len Blavatnik, head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. “These exceptional researchers demonstrate the immense potential of the new generation of scientists in shaping the future. It is imperative to recognize and support leading innovators early in their careers to maximize impactful scientific breakthroughs.”

Professor Nili Cohen, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, said in a statement: “Together with the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences, we are proud to recognize and support these exceptional young scientists with this prestigious award. Each of them demonstrates their outstanding merit, their passion for pushing the frontiers of scientific discovery, and their bright future as part of a new generation of pioneering Israeli scientists.”

The scientists will be honored at a formal ceremony in Jerusalem on April 7, 2019. They will join over 250 of their peers as fellow members of the Blavatnik Science Scholars community.