Matthieu Gagnon, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Thomas Steitz, was selected as a finalist of the 2016 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists in the Chemistry category. Gagnon was recognized for providing insights into the function of multiple protein factors and antimicrobial peptides on the ribosome, the protein-making factory of cells. His work provides clues that will guide structure-based design of next-generation antibiotics capable of inhibiting protein synthesis in many pathogens. The awards are given annually by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, to honor the excellence of outstanding postdoctoral scientists from institutions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Each finalist receives a $10,000 prize.
In addition, Jinzhong Lin, also a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Thomas Steitz, was a finalist of the 2015 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. Lin was recognized for his creative method that helps uncover the molecular details of protein synthesis by the ribosome and its associated translation factors.
The Blavatnik Foundation provides profiles of each honoree. The links for the profiles are: