Five scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences received the Pythagoras Award of the Ministry of Education and Science for their contribution to science. For the first time in each category, awards were given to an established and a young scientist.

In the field of natural sciences and engineering, two established scientists were awarded – Prof. Dr. Margarita Popova from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) and Prof. DSc Ivo Grabchev from SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The award was presented by the President of BAS Prof. Julian Revalski, Full Member of the Academy. The award for a young scientist in this field was given to Asst. Prof. Dr. Kalin Staykov from SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”.

The research of Prof. DSc Margarita Popova is in the field of obtaining new nanomaterials that provide opportunities for solving important socially significant problems. The new nanoscale materials she has obtained have successful applications in processes for environmental protection, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, production of energy and chemicals from renewable sources and development of innovative drug systems. Under the supervision of Prof. Popova, a new scientific direction in Bulgaria has been initiated, aimed at developing efficient drug delivery systems using modified mesoporous silicates.

The award for an established scientist in the field of life sciences and medicine goes to Prof. Dr. Pavlina Dolashka from the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry at BAS and Prof. Dr. Irena Kostova from the Medical University of Sofia.  For young scientist in this field was awarded Sen. Asst. Prof. Dr. Merilin Al Sharif from the Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering of BAS.

Prof. Dr. Pavlina Dolashka has made a major contribution to the new biologically active components (BACs) and mixtures isolated from Black Sea and garden snails, crabs and plants.

Dr. Merilin Al Sharif has participated in the development of virtual libraries containing data on 32 compounds of plant origin that have been screened for their potential activity against various coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS- CoV, HCoV 229E, TGEV and PEDV).

The Pythagoras Prize for an established scientist in the field of social sciences and humanities was awarded to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yavor Miltenov, and for a young scientist – to Sen. Asst. Prof. Dr. Andriana Spassova.

The philologist Assoc. Prof. Miltenov from the Institute for Bulgarian Language “Professor Lyubomir Andreichin” of BAS is engaged in the study of Bulgarian language, literature and culture in the Middle Ages. His main achievements are related to the enrichment of scientific knowledge about medieval Bulgarian literature and language.

Dr. Spassova works at the Institute of Literature at BAS and devotes her research to Nayden Gerov. One of the most important results of her work was the discovery of the textbook manuscript “Bulgarian History”.

In this year’s edition of the Pythagoras competition, 34 scientists competed. The winners received diplomas, plaques and cash prizes at an official ceremony to be broadcast by Bulgarian National Television at 5:40 pm on 24 May.