Dr. Richard Alley and Dr. Stephen Quake to Join Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering Advisory Panel

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has appointed Dr. Richard Alley, an Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and 1991 Packard Fellow, and Dr. Stephen Quake, Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at Stanford University, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and 1999 Packard Fellow, to the Advisory Panel of the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. The two renowned professors join this group of internationally-recognized scientists and engineers who annually select Fellows from a field of early-career scientists and engineers nominated by presidents of 50 universities.

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering was established in 1988 to allow the nation’s most promising scientists to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions and limited reporting requirements. The Fellowship program arose out of David Packard’s commitment to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs, recognizing that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he co-founded, derived in large measure from research and development in university laboratories.

“Richard and Stephen will be terrific additions to the Advisory Panel. As pioneering contributors to their own fields, they will help us in the tough job of selecting the most talented candidates from a wonderfully well-qualified pool of innovative young scientists and engineers from universities across the nation. Richard and Stephen are great examples of just the kind of creative young faculty members we try to identify,” said Lynn Orr, Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor at Stanford University, and Chairman of the Packard Fellowship Advisory Panel.

Dr. Alley currently teaches and conducts research on climatic records, flow behavior and sedimentary deposits of large ice sheets to aid in the prediction of future changes in climate and sea level. With over 250 science publications, Alley is a highly-cited researcher and has been invited several times to present his global climate change research before government officials, including former Vice President Al Gore and the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology. He also contributed to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Al Gore.

“I’m delighted to join an esteemed group of scientists and engineers and to help provide creative, young scientists the same opportunity that I was presented early in my career when I was selected to join the Fellowship Program in 1991,” said Dr. Alley.

A year before joining the faculty of Pennsylvania State University in 1988, Dr. Alley earned his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to that, he received his M.Sc and B.Sc in Geology from Ohio State University-Columbus. Starting in 1978, Dr. Alley gained extensive field experience, completing numerous field seasons in Antarctica, Greenland and Alaska to inform his ongoing research on climate change.

After joining Pennsylvania State University as a faculty member, Dr. Alley earned the title of Evan Pugh Professor in 2000. This is an honor given to professors that have displayed the courage to pioneer in their fields, the discipline to remain at the forefront of research, and the generosity of spirit to share these accomplishments with students.

Dr. Alley continues to give back to the science community with service on a variety of advisory panels and steering committees, including chairing the National Research Council’s Panel on Abrupt Climate Change. In 2011, he hosted a PBS special on climate change and sustainable energy titled “Earth: The Operators’ Manual.” More recently, Dr. Alley was recognized with the Heinz Award in 2012 and was presented with the first annual National Center of Science Education Friend of the Planet award this year.

Dr. Quake has pioneered numerous biological measurement techniques throughout his career. In creating the first microfluidic large-scale integration, he invented the biological equivalent of the integrated circuit, which has since found many applications in biological automation. Similarly, in demonstrating the first single molecule DNA sequencing technology, applying it to sequence his own genome and conducting the first clinical annotation of a whole genome sequence, he helped usher in the now burgeoning field of personal genomics.  He has gone on to develop many clinical applications of genomics, including the first non-invasive prenatal diagnostic for Down syndrome and other aneuploidies.

“Joining Richard and other distinguished scientists in the Advisory Panel is an honor,” shared Dr. Quake. “When I was a Fellow, the Program allowed me to take risks and explore new frontiers which dramatically changed the course of my career. Now, I’m looking forward to helping other young professors explore the boundaries of science with support from this Program.”

A graduate of Stanford University, Dr. Quake went to the University of Oxford where he earned his D.Phil. in Theoretical Physics in 1994. At the age of 26, Dr. Quake joined the California Institute of Technology as a faculty member where he began his independent career and was ultimately appointed the Thomas and Doris Everhart Professor of Applied Physics and Physics.

He returned to Stanford University in 2005 where he helped launch a new department in Bioengineering. Today, Dr. Quake is the Lee Otterson Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at Stanford University and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Quake’s Group at Stanford University is currently involved in a number of research projects, including exploring applications of single cell genomic analysis.

Dr. Quake is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the Sackler Prize in Biophysics, the Nakasone Prize from the Human Frontier Science Program, and the Lemelson-MIT Prize for Innovation. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, the American Physical Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

As Dr. Alley and Dr. Quake join the Advisory Panel, four long-term members, Phillip Griffiths, William Press, William Schowalter and Allan Spradling, will retire from the Panel following the selection of this year’s Fellows.

Phillip Griffiths, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study, and William Press, Warren J. and Viola Mae Raymer Chair for the Computer Sciences and Integrative Biology Departments at the University of Texas, Austin, both joined the panel in 1988, providing guidance in the selection of over 500 Fellows. Imparting critical leadership, William Schowalter, Professor in Engineering and Applied Science Emeritus, Princeton University, has served on the panel for 16 years and Allan Spradling, Director of the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, has served on the panel for 25 years.

The Packard Foundation plans to honor these advisors and their invaluable contributions to the Program at the annual Packard Fellows meeting September 3-6, 2014. Additionally, the Advisory Panel will nominate 18 Fellows for approval by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Board of Trustees at this meeting. The Foundation will announce the next class of Fellows on October 15, 2014. Follow the Packard Foundation on Twitter (@PackardFdn) and join in the conversation about the Fellows Program by using the hashtag #PackardFellows.