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The University of Southampton

Southampton scientist named finalist for Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

Published: 15 January 2020
Professor Stephen Goldup
Professor Stephen Goldup, finalist for the 2020 UK Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.

Professor Stephen Goldup, synthetic chemist at the University of Southampton, has been announced as a Finalist for the prestigious 2020 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.

The UK Awards, offered by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences, are judged by a jury of leading UK scientists and recognise the innovative discoveries of scientists under the age of 42 who, despite being in the early stages of their careers, are already changing science and our understanding of the world.

Professor Goldup, a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow, is part of Southampton’s Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry within the University's School of Chemistry, who has developed elegant methods for the construction of “mechanically interlocked molecules”. These are molecules that consist of two or smaller molecules threaded through one another, rather than joined together by chemical bonds. This arrangement makes interlocked molecules very flexible and creates cavities that can be exploited in novel applications, such as to create new catalysts or novel materials with possible applications in drug delivery, electronic materials and sensing.

“It was a surprise and an honour when I received the call to say our work was being recognised by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences,” said Professor Goldup. “It’s a wonderful moment when you are reminded that people outside the bubble of your research group also think what we’re doing is exciting!”

As a Blavatnik Awards finalist, Professor Goldup will receive US$30,000 (£23,000). The UK awards sit alongside their global counterparts, the Blavatnik National Awards in the United States and the Blavatnik Awards in Israel, all of which honour and support exceptional early-career scientists at lecturer level and above.

“The UK has cultivated much of the world’s leading scientific talent,” commented Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, and member of the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences. "We are incredibly proud to elevate these select scientists to an international stage that will enable them to be recognised globally, prepare them to become world-class leaders in their scientific fields, and propel the wheel of innovation and societal progress."

The 2020 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates and Finalists will be honoured at a black-tie gala dinner and ceremony at Banqueting House in London on 4th March 2020.

The following day, on 5th March 2020, the honourees will present their research with a series of short, interactive lectures at a public symposium in London entitled “Game Changers: 9 Young Scientists Transforming Our World”.


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