|Oliver Rando, MD, PhD|
The Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists named UMass Medical School’s Oliver Rando MD, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, one of the 31 national finalists who will be competing for three spots as the 2016 Blavatnik National Laureates. The finalists were selected from 308 nominations of outstanding faculty-rank researchers from 148 of the nation’s leading academic and research institutions.
The annual Blavatnik Awards, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in 2007 and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, celebrate exceptional young researchers who drive the next generation of scientific innovation by answering the most complex scientific questions of today. The three National Laureates will be announced later this month and will each receive an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000, the largest prize of its kind for early-career scientists.
Dr. Rando was named a Life Sciences Finalist. Rando’s research focuses on epigenetic inheritance, with a specific focus on the study of the nucleoprotein complex known as chromatin. Work from Rando’s lab coupled with epidemiologic studies have linked paternal diet to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease in the next generation. Last year, Rando was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology for his scientific achievements and original contributions to the field of microbiology. In 2014, Rando was the recipient of a NIH Director’s Pioneer Award to explore how a father’s diet can influence the metabolism of his children.
The National Laureates and finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony on Sept. 12, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
In addition, on July 18 and 19, the Academy and the Blavatnik Family Foundation will host the third annual Blavatnik Science Symposium featuring research of the 2016 National Finalists and Blavatnik Awards honorees from previous years. The event will also include members of the Blavatnik Awards National Jury and Scientific Advisory Council, as well as other scientific luminaries.