Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering Advisory Panel Welcomes Four New Members

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has appointed Dr. Kristi S. Anseth, Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, Dr. Andrei Okounkov, and Dr. Christopher Stubbs to the Advisory Panel of the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. These renowned professors join a 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. All four are former Packard Fellows themselves.

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.

“All of these distinguished scientists were once chosen to be Packard Fellows because of their outstanding work and the promise they showed early in their careers. They’ve all gone on to accomplish great things—adding tremendous value to their fields and to our society,” said Dr. Frances Arnold, Chair of the Packard Fellowship Advisory Panel and Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry and Director of the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). “Now they bring their rich background and experience—along with their perspective as former Fellows—to help select a new generation of early-career scientists with breakthrough ideas to pursue as Packard Fellows.”

Dr. Kristi S. Anseth (1997 Packard Fellow) is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Anseth’s research group focuses on the development of biomaterial scaffolds with highly-controlled architectures and chemistries for three-dimensional cell culture, tissue regeneration, and biological arrays and/or assays. Her research group is particularly interested in understanding how cells receive information from materials and what happens to cell function over time when assembled within three-dimensional microenvironments. Click here to view her Packard Fellow profile.

Dr. Cynthia Kenyon (1989 Packard Fellow) is Vice President of Aging Research at Calico Life Sciences and Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Kenyon is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the molecular biology and genetics of aging and life extension. At Calico, she helps to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan in order to ultimately use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. Click here to view her Packard Fellow profile.

Dr. Andrei Okounkov (2001 Packard Fellow) is Samuel Eilenberg Professor of Mathematics at Columbia University. He works in mathematical physics, representation theory, algebraic geometry, and probability theory, with a particular focus on geometric problems originating in theoretical physics. Dr. Okounkov received the Fields Medal in 2006. Click here to view his Packard Fellow profile.

Dr. Christopher Stubbs (1994 Packard Fellow) is the Samuel Moncher Professor of Physics and of Astronomy at Harvard University and was chair of Harvard’s Physics Department from 2007 to 2010. He is an experimental physicist working at the interface between particle physics, cosmology and gravitation. He was a member of one of the two teams that first discovered the dark energy by using supernovae to map out the history of cosmic expansion. Dr. Stubbs is currently heavily engaged in the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), for which he was the inaugural project scientist. He founded the APOLLO collaboration that is using lunar laser ranging and the Earth-Moon-Sun system to probe for novel gravitational effects that may result from physics beyond the standard model. Click here to view his Packard Fellow profile.

The Advisory Panel will recommend 18 Fellowship awards for approval by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Board of Trustees this September 2015. The Foundation will then announce the next class of Fellows on October 15, 2015. Follow the Packard Foundation on Twitter (@PackardFdn) and join in the conversation about the Fellows Program by using the hashtag #PackardFellows.

Above Photo (left to right): Dr. Christopher Stubbs, Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, Dr. Kristi S. Anseth, and Dr. Andrei Okounkov