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Ana Maria Rey

A University of Colorado Boulder researcher has won the largest award for researchers who are under the age of 42.

Ana Maria Rey, an associate research professor and JILA fellow in the physics department, was announced as one of the winners of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, started 13 years ago. She is the first Hispanic woman to win the award, according to a news release.

Rey immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia in 2000 and has worked at CU Boulder since 2008. She is an quantum physical theorist and researches different uses for ultra-cold light atoms.

“In my point of view, having role models to inspire women is key,” Rey said in a news release. “It is very important for women to realize that to have a scientific career it is not incompatible with having a family. Facilitating ways that help women to be a successful scientists and mothers at the same time is crucial.”

Rey also has won a MacArthur Foundation Genius grant and the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award from the American Physical Society.

The awards received 343 nominations from research centers in 44 states. The three National Laureates won $250,000 each, the largest unrestricted prize for early-career scientists in the world.

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