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Blavatnik Awards to Brangwynne and Dichtel

by Linda Wang
August 28, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 33

A chemist and a chemical engineer are among the recipients of the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, which recognize promising young researchers. Each winner will be presented with a $250,000 prize from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Photo of Clifford P. Brangwynne.
Credit: MacArthur Foundation
Clifford P. Brangwynne

Clifford P. Brangwynne, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University, is the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards Laureate in Life Sciences.

William R. Dichtel, Robert L. Letsinger Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University, is the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards Laureate in Chemistry.

Photo of William Dichtel.
Credit: Courtesy of William Dichtel
William Dichtel

Brangwynne’s work has transformed the field of cell biology by facilitating a better understanding of the internal organization of cells. “It’s a tremendous honor,” says Brangwynne of the award. “I am so grateful for all the support I’ve had from family, friends, colleagues, and mentors.”

Dichtel has pioneered methods to create novel, porous materials from simple, carbon-based building blocks. He has also developed materials that show promise for new energy storage systems. “I hope to develop a better understanding of how organic molecules react and interact with one another and to use this knowledge to benefit humankind,” Dichtel says. “Our fundamental work in 2-D polymerization, water purification, and polymer recycling are all consistent with this mission. Moreover, research is also teaching, and our research projects serve as excellent training grounds for the next generation of scientists to master chemical research and develop other important skills.”

The winners will be honored during a gala in 2021.


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