Photo of Professor Jeremiah Johnson

Johnson named 2019 Blavatnik Award Finalist

Categories: Awards, Faculty

Blavatnik Scholars are recognized for their contributions to the advancement of the human condition through scientific progress.

The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences has named Associate Professor Jeremiah Johnson one of thirty-one Finalists of the 2019 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. The finalists, comprised of the nation’s rising stars in science will compete for three Blavatnik National Laureate Awards in the categories of Chemistry, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Life Sciences. Each of the three 2019 National Laureates will win $250,000—the world’s largest unrestricted prize for early-career scientists.

Now in its 13th year, the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists recognize the past accomplishments and the future promise of the most-talented faculty-rank scientists and engineers aged 42 years and younger at America’s top academic and research institutions. This year, the Blavatnik National Awards received an unprecedented 343 nominations from 169 academic and research centers across 44 states – a record in all three categories. The three 2019 National Laureates, chosen from the 31 Finalists, will be announced June 26.

Blavatnik Scholars are advancing the human condition through scientific progress. This year’s Finalists have made cutting-edge discoveries that include new findings on the inner-workings of the microbiome, cells, DNA, RNA and viruses; creating new classes of materials through inventions in materials science and nanoscience; identifying predictors for improving crop yields; new chemical imaging and synthesis techniques; novel 2D and 3D polymer design and other radical advances that can impact energy storage, water purification and next generation electronics. A comprehensive description of the honorees’ research and work follows.

Johnson, one of the finalists in Chemistry, is a polymer chemist whose research focuses on design and synthesis of new macromolecules for applications at the interface of medicine, biology, and materials science. He has developed methods for quantitatively predicting the mechanical/elastic properties of network polymers and also for controlled insertions of monomers into the strand of polymer networks using light. These methods developed by Johnson find applications in in vivo drug delivery and imaging, catalysis, additive manufacturing, and sustainable materials.

“The goal of the Awards is to help solve the world’s greatest scientific and technological challenges by supporting outstanding young scientists and engineers,” 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. “Acknowledging, encouraging and funding stellar scientists early in their careers provides them with the confidence and freedom to channel their energy and creativity into ground-breaking discoveries that benefit society as a whole.”

Ellis Rubinstein, president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences and chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council, said, “The 2019 Blavatnik National Awards Finalists are part of a growing global community of inventive thinkers and rare problem-solvers that will help define the future. These 31 Finalists are a diverse group of scientists and engineers who are paving the way for new methodologies and ideas that will impact the world on a macro and micro scale. From preserving endangered animal species and reducing our carbon footprint to designing new sustainable materials and therapeutics, their research is forward-thinking and groundbreaking.”

The 2019 Blavatnik National Laureates and Finalists will be honored at the Blavatnik National Awards ceremony on Monday, Sept. 23, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in the United States in 2007 and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, began by identifying outstanding regional scientific talent in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Blavatnik National Awards were launched in 2014 and, in 2017, the Awards were expanded to young scientists in the United Kingdom and Israel. By the close of 2019, the Blavatnik Awards will have conferred prizes totaling over $8.4 million to 285 outstanding young scientists and engineers from more than 44 countries, representing 35 scientific and engineering disciplines.

About the Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of world-renowned educational, scientific, culturaland charitable institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel,and throughout the world.The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, a global industrialist and philanthropist and the founder andchairmanof Access Industries, a privately held U.S. industrial group with global strategic interests innatural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, real estate, and venture capital

About the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817hasbeen committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000Members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science forthe benefit of humanity. The Academy’s core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impactthe major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number ofscientifically informed individuals in society at large