Showing posts with label MacArthur Foundation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MacArthur Foundation. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

John Dabiri named among 23 New MacArthur Fellows

John Dabiri

Prof. John O. Dabiri, 30, of Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories and the Option of Bioengineering at Caltech is among the 23 new MacArthur Fellows. His major focus is on Mechanics and dynamics of biological propulsion, fluid dynamic energy conversion.

MacArthur describes him as a "biophysicist investigating the hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion, which has profound implications for our understanding of evolutionary adaptation and such related issues in fluid dynamics as blood flow in the human heart."

Dabiri graduated from Princeton University with a B.S.E. degree summa cum laude in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in June 2001. In September 2001, he came to Caltech as a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, Betty and Gordon Moore Fellow, and Y.C. Fung Fellow in Bioengineering. Under the supervision of Professor Morteza Gharib, he earned an M.S. degree in Aeronautics in June 2003, followed by a Ph.D. in Bioengineering with a minor in Aeronautics in April 2005. He joined the Caltech faculty as an Assistant Professor in May 2005. In 2008, he was selected as an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator for research in bio-inspired propulsion, and Popular Science magazine named him one of its "Brilliant 10" scientists. He was selected for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2009.

The following is the news release on the 23 2010 MacArthur Fellows.

28 Sep 2010 05:01 Africa/Lagos

23 New MacArthur Fellows Announced

CHICAGO, Sept. 28

Out of the blue – $500,000 – No strings

CHICAGO, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named 23 new MacArthur Fellows for 2010. Working across a broad spectrum of endeavors, the Fellows include a stone carver, a quantum astrophysicist, a jazz pianist, a high school physics teacher, a marine biologist, a theater director, an American historian, a fiction writer, an economist, and a computer security scientist. All were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.

The recipients just learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 in "no strings attached" support over the next five years. MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations and reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore. The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.

"This group of Fellows, along with the more than 800 who have come before, reflects the tremendous breadth of creativity among us," said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. "They are explorers and risk takers, contributing to their fields and to society in innovative, impactful ways. They provide us all with inspiration and hope for the future."

Among the recipients this year are –

a type designer crafting letterforms of unequaled elegance and precision that span the migration of text from the printed page to computer screens (Matthew Carter);
a biomedical animator illuminating cellular and molecular processes for a wide range of audiences through scientifically accurate and aesthetically rich animations (Drew Berry);
a sign language linguist focusing on the unique structure and evolution of sign languages and how they differ from spoken languages and each other (Carol Padden);
a population geneticist mining DNA sequence data for insights into key questions about the mechanisms of evolution, origins of genetic diversity, and patterns of population migration (Carlos D. Bustamante);
a sculptor transforming her signature medium of marble into intricate, seemingly weightless works of art (Elizabeth Turk);
a public high school physics teacher instilling passion for the physical sciences in young men and women through an innovative curriculum that integrates applied physics, engineering, and robotics (Amir Abo-Shaeer);
an American historian disentangling the interracial bloodlines of two distinct founding families to shed fresh light on our colonial past (Annette Gordon-Reed);
a fiction writer drawing readers, through spare and understated storytelling, into compelling explorations of her characters' struggles in both China and the United States (Yiyun Li);
a computer security scientist peeling back the deep interactions among software, hardware, and networks to decrease the vulnerability of computer systems and networks to remote attack (Dawn Song); and
an entomologist protecting one of the world's most important pollinators—honey bees—from decimation by disease (Marla Spivak).

Additional biographical information, video interviews, and downloadable photographs are available at .

"There is something palpable about these new MacArthur Fellows, about their character as explorers and pioneers at the cutting edge. These are women and men improving, protecting, and making our world a better place for us all. This program was designed for such people—designed to provide an extra measure of freedom, visibility, and opportunity," said Daniel J. Socolow, Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program.

The inaugural class of MacArthur Fellows was named in 1981. Including this year's Fellows, 828 people, ranging in age from 18 to 82 at the time of their selection, have been named MacArthur Fellows since the inception of the program thirty years ago.

The selection process begins with formal nominations. Hundreds of anonymous nominators assist the Foundation in identifying people to be considered for a MacArthur Fellowship. Nominations are accepted only from invited nominators, a list that is constantly renewed throughout the year. They are chosen from many fields and challenged to identify people who demonstrate exceptional creativity and promise. A Selection Committee of roughly a dozen members, who also serve anonymously, meets regularly to review files, narrow the list, and make final recommendations to the Foundation's Board of Directors. The number of Fellows selected each year is not fixed; typically, it varies between 20 and 25.

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at

SOURCE MacArthur Foundation

CONTACT: Pete Boyle,, or Adam Shapiro,, +1-202-457-8100, both for MacArthur Foundation; or Andy Solomon of MacArthur Foundation, +1-312-726-8000,

Web Site:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

MacArthur Foundation Grants $7.6 Million To 9 Universities in 7 Countries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; CONTACT: Amy Martin, 202-745-5118


Chicago, IL, June 30, 2009 – Supporting rigorous professional training for future leaders in the field of sustainable development, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today grants totaling $7.6 million to nine universities in seven countries to establish new Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) programs.

The Foundation has committed $15 million to seed the creation of such programs at up to 15 universities worldwide over the next three years. With MacArthur support, Columbia University is creating the first MDP Program, which will launch this fall.

MDP programs are designed to provide graduate students with training beyond the typical focus on classroom study of economics and management found in most development studies. The program’s core curriculum combines classroom study in a range of disciplines, including agriculture, policy, health, engineering, management, environmental science, education, and nutrition with field training experiences.

“Through our work around the globe, we at MacArthur understand that poverty, population, health, conservation, and human rights are all interconnected, requiring sustained and comprehensive interventions,” said Foundation President Jonathan Fanton. “These new programs are a model for training the next generation of these critically needed professionals.”

A Global Master’s in Development Practice Secretariat, supported by MacArthur and based at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, will help manage the MDP network of universities, develop an open-source repository for the MDP curriculum and other teaching materials, and will offer an online, Global Classroom on sustainable development for students worldwide.

The universities that will receive funding to establish the nine MDP programs are:

· Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) will emphasize the health and governance-related aspects of sustainable development through its work with partners that include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CARE and the Carter Center.

· The Energy Resources Institute University (New Delhi, India) will emphasize energy and climate sciences, building on its contributions to scientific and policy research in energy, environment, and sustainable development.

· James Cook University (Cairns and Townsville, Australia) will offer coursework at its two campuses and field training in the Philippines and Indonesia, focusing on the challenges to sustainable development and governance in tropical island nations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

· Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland) will integrate their teaching in international development and also partner with the National University of Rwanda to offer field training and coursework in conservation and sustainable development.

· Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) will build on its English-language degrees and Master’s programs in international development and public administration to focus on development models for China.

· University of Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar, Senegal) will focus on current development challenges facing Africa by integrating health, social and natural sciences, engineering, information technology, and management. It will also serve as a MDP program hub for French-speaking West African nations.

· University of Botswana (Gaborone, Botswana) will create a modular program designed for working professionals. Rigorous independent study will be complemented by two to three weeks of on campus training each semester. University of Botswana will partner with University of Florida to offer field training experiences in Botswana.

· University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.) will implement a program that includes the core curriculum, building on University of Florida’s expertise in conservation and sustainable development, especially in Latin America. The program also incorporates faculty and student exchanges and a field-training program in Botswana, in partnership with University of Botswana.

· University of Ibadan (Ibadan, Nigeria) will build on existing graduate programs in health, science, and natural resources with the long-term goal of creating a Centre for Development Studies. It will also serve as a MDP program hub for English-speaking West African nations.

The universities are expected to produce 250 graduates with a Master’s in Development Practice degree by 2012, with a total of 750 students enrolled. They were selected based on five criteria, including support from top university leadership, excellent infrastructure and academic programs, and the ability to serve as regional hub; geographic representation among students and exceptional faculty across the four core competencies of the natural, health, and social sciences and management; and a timeline and business plan for financial sustainability when funding ends in three years. In 2010, MacArthur will fund up to five additional universities to create additional MDP programs.

The creation of the Master’s in Development Practice Program was a key recommendation of the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, whose report was released in October 2008. Established in 2007, the year-long Commission was co-chaired by John McArthur, Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Promise, and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and comprised of 20 top thinkers in the field of sustainable development from around the world.

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is changing children and society. More information is available at


Amy Martin

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GYMR Public Relations, LLC

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P: (202) 745-5118