Corr. Memb. Prof. DSc Stanislav Vassilev from the Institute of Mineralogy and Crystallography of BAS has been awarded the Pythagoras Grand Prize of the Ministry of Education and Science for his overall scientific contribution. He received a diploma and a cash prize of BGN 12 000 at a ceremony on 17 May. The President of BAS Prof. Julian Revalski, Member of the Academy, participated in the event which was held annually, in 2024 for the 16th time.

Corr. Memb. Stanislav Vassilev has contributed to the field of mineralogy, geochemistry and sustainable innovative utilization of solid fuels and their waste products from thermochemical processing – a worldwide problem in coal mining, including in Bulgaria. He is one of the Bulgarians among the top 1% of scientists in the world according to a ranking by Stanford University. He has been task leader of projects with the European Commission, NATO, national scientific programs, Bulgarian National Science Fund, etc. He has also held post-doctoral and expert positions in Japan, Belgium, Spain, European Commission, Türkiye and China. He has published 120 papers in some of the most prestigious international journals, 36 of which are in the top 10% (according to Scopus) for their respective scientific field. His H-index is 39.

Prof. Evgeni Semkov from the Institute of Astronomy with the National Astronomical Observatory “Rozhen” received one of the two awards in the field of natural sciences and engineering. The award includes a plaquette and a diploma, as well as 4000 BGN each.

The main contributions of Prof. Semkov are in the study of star formation processes and the formation of planetary systems. The results, published in some of the most prestigious international journals, trace the evolution of young stellar objects. Using the Rozhen telescopes, the properties of black holes located at the centre of high-energy quasi-stellar sources have been investigated. For the last 5 years Prof. Evgeni Semkov has 48 scientific publications and 773 citations in scientific journals.

Among the nominated young scientists with very good indicators in the field of natural sciences and engineering, the jury awarded Sen. Asst. Prof. Dr. Nikoleta Kircheva from the Institute of Optical Materials and Technologies – BAS who received a plaquette, a diploma and a cash prize of BGN 8 000. In 2023, she won two of the most prestigious science awards in Bulgaria: the UNESCO and L’Oreal Women in Science Award 2023 and the Prof. Marin Drinov Award of BAS in 2023 in the “Biomedicine and Quality of Life” division. Her research focuses on elucidating the role of different metals in biological and biomimetic systems using computer modelling. She has published 15 papers in three years in impact factor journals, mainly in quartile 1, and has 86 external citations.

The award for an established scientist in the field of life sciences and medicine was presented to two scientists, among them Prof. Dr. Milen Georgiev from the Institute of Microbiology of BAS. He received a plaquette, a diploma and 4000 leva. The main focus of Prof. Georgiev’s team is the search for pharmaceutically relevant substances with anti-obesogenic potential as well as those that favorably affect the quality and duration of life. Of fundamental interest is the molecular study of the relationship between key signaling pathways in obesity and longevity in different biological systems with the application of modern omics approaches (including transcriptomics and metabolomics). For the last five years, the results of Prof. Georgiev have been combined in 72 scientific publications with a total impact factor of 668, one book and one book chapter.  Prof. Milen Georgiev has been awarded three Pythagoras Prizes in different categories. For the last 4 years, he has been among the top 2% in the world citation ranking for all scientists and scientific disciplines. He is President of the Bulgarian Phytochemical Society and is among the founders of the Center of Excellence in Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology in Plovdiv.