Dr. Samie Jaffrey Wins Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists

Dr. Samie Jaffrey Photo credit: Robert Essel

Dr. Samie Jaffrey, professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell, has won a Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists from the New York Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Jaffrey is one of five faculty researchers to receive the award, which applauds the excellence of distinguished scientists, age 42 or younger, who work in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. The award carries a $50,000 unrestricted cash prize made possible by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

"I feel very honored to receive this recognition for work done by me and my research team," Dr. Jaffrey said. "This would not have been possible without the outstanding graduate students and postdocs who have worked in my lab."

Dr. Jaffrey's research is focused on identifying the roles of RNA regulation in neuronal growth, plasticity and development.

There were more than 160 nominations from across 35 scientific disciplines submitted by 43 research institutions in the tri-state area for this year's competition. In addition to the five faculty winners, the New York Academy of Sciences named two postdoctoral winners and five postdoctoral finalists. Dr. Bi-Sen Ding of Weill Cornell was selected as one of those finalists, winning a $10,000 cash prize. Dr. Ding is a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Dr. Shahin Rafii, director of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute, the Arthur B. Belfer Professor in Genetic Medicine, professor of genetic medicine, professor of reproductive medicine and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists competition, now in its seventh year, has garnered more than 1,000 applicants from 70 research institutions across the three-state region. In June, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and New York Academy of Sciences announced that the faculty competition would be expanded nationally. Beginning next year, the organizations will bestow three unrestricted prizes of $250,000 to faculty-ranked scientists, age 42 or younger, in the categories of physical science and engineering, chemistry and life sciences. The postdoctoral competition will remain regional.

Dr. Jaffrey, Dr. Ding and the other winners and finalists will be honored during the National Academy of Science's 10th annual Science & the City Gala, slated for Nov. 18. This year's focus will be "New York: A Science State of Mind."

"Scientific discoveries are often not recognized outside the research community," Dr. Jaffrey said. "This award is a fantastic way to increase the visibility of medical research."

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