Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists celebrates 10-year anniversary

Earlier this week, the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists celebrated its 10th anniversary, together with the four winners of 2023. During this 10-year period, the prize has annually been awarded to four young scientists for outstanding research based on a doctoral degree earned in the previous two years and is a way to celebrate and encourage excellent researchers early on in their careers.

Each year, a Grand Prize winner is selected from the applicants to receive 30,000 USD in prize money and the three other category winners are awarded 10,000 USD each for their accomplishments. This year’s Grand Prize winner, Zuzanna Kozicka, is using molecular glue degraders to find troublesome proteins, creatively combining multiple scientific fields to achieve her goals.

In a week dedicated to celebrating excellent science, it’s also fitting that the four winners visited the inspiring Nobel Prize Ceremony and later attended the Nobel Banquet.

Rachel Kratofil, Zuzanna Kozicka, Jessica Kendall-Bar and Yodai Takei at the Nobel Prize Banquet

The week was full of fun activities for the winners, but also educational, as they presented their research to local high school students and later on in front of the scientific community via the Science & SciLifeLab Prize Symposium, and also got a chance to visit part of the SciLifeLab infrastructure and discuss science with researchers from the SciLifeLab environment.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, a symposium where the winners presented their research in at a symposium held at Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Jessica Kendall-Bar, category winner in Ecology and Environment presented her thesis work focusing on how mammals at sea sleep.

“We first need to answer the fundamental neurophysiology questions, then look into applied conservation biology and ultimately applied translational medicine” said Jessica Kendall-Bar,

 the 2014 category winner Chelsea Wood was invited to give a keynote lecture titled “Is the world wormier than it used to be? Answers from a new subdiscipline: the historical ecology of parasitism.”

“Parasites play really important roles in ecosystems – they make ecosystems run. Yet we have no clue about what their trajectory may be, and that is what my lab focuses on”, said Chelsea Wood.

As tradition goes, the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists week ended with a festive Award Ceremony and dinner in the Hall of Mirrors in Stockholm.

The 2023 winners

Zuzanna Kozicka, Molecular Medicine, Grand Prize Winner for the essay “Gluing the pieces together: Illuminating the path to degrading troublesome proteins.”

Rachel Kratofil, Category winner in Cell and Molecular Biology for the essay “Working up an appetite to promote repair: Immune-derived hunger hormones restore tissue post-infection.”

Yodai Takei, Category winner in Genomics, Proteomics, and Systems Biology Approaches for the essay “Imaging nuclear architecture in single cells: Multiplexed imaging technologies uncover precise 3D maps of single nuclei.”

Jessica Kendall-Bar, Category winner in Ecology and Environment for the essay “Lessons from sleep in the deep: Records of seal sleep at sea reveal extreme sleep duration flexibility.”

The Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists was initiated as a collaboration between SciLifeLab in Sweden and Science magazine/AAAS. It is co-funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation one of the largest private financiers of scientific research in Europe.


Last updated: 2023-12-14

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