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MacArthur foundation hands out its ‘genius grants’

The MacArthur Foundation has awarded its annual round of prizes — US$500,000 ‘no strings attached’ grants often called the ‘genius grants’. Among this year’s 22 recipients are nine scientists.

They are:

Elodie Ghedin, a virologist from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, who is “harnessing the power of genomic sequencing techniques to generate critical insights about human pathogens”. See some of her work in Nature here and here.

Markus Greiner, a condensed-matter physicist from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is using ultra-cold atoms in an optical lattice to study phenomena like superconductivity. See a couple of his seven papers published in Nature here and here.

Kevin Guskiewic, a sports-medicine researcher at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, who works on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sports-related concussions — which are quickly becoming a major concern for professional sports leagues.

Matthew Nock, a clinical psychologist from Harvard University, who studies suicide and self-harm in adolescents and adults.

Sarah Otto, an evolutionary geneticist from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who studies questions such as why some species reproduce sexually, and why some carry more than one copy of each gene. See some of her work on this topic in Nature here.

Shwetak Patel, a computer scientist from the University of Washington in Seattle, who has invented a series of sensors for the home with the goal of saving energy and improving daily life.

Melanie Sanford, an organometallic chemist from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who is “reviving and enhancing approaches to organic synthesis previously set aside because of their technical difficulty”.

William Seeley, a neuropathologist from the University of California, San Francisco, who is studying the structural, functional and behavioural aspects of human neurodegenerative disease.

Yukiko Yamashita, a developmental biologist from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, who is studying the factors that regulate the development of stem cells. See some of her work in Nature here.


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