Packard Foundation Appoints New Member to Fellowships Advisory Panel

May 11, 2018 (Los Altos, CA) – The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has appointed Dr. Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania to the Advisory Panel of the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. Dr. Tishkoff is a former Packard Fellow (2001, University of Maryland), and joins the prestigious group of internationally-recognized scientists and engineers who are responsible for selecting a class of Fellows each year from among a field of early-career scientists and engineers nominated by presidents of 50 universities.

“Dr. Tishkoff is living proof of why investing in early-career scientists like our Fellows is so important,” said Frances Arnold, Chair of the Packard Fellowships Advisory Panel and former Packard Fellow. “Since her time as a Fellow herself, Dr. Tishkoff has gone on to establish an impressive and impactful career in evolutionary genetics. We are lucky that someone of her caliber has set aside valuable time to help guide our program, and I eagerly look forward to her contributions.”

Dr. Tishkoff studies genomic and phenotypic variation in indigenous Africans of diverse ancestries. Her research combines field work, laboratory research, and computational methods to examine African population history and how genetic variation can affect a wide range of practical issues, like why humans have different susceptibility to disease, how they metabolize drugs, and how they adapt through evolution. During her Fellowship years, Sarah studied the genetics of African populations, looking at traits such as lactose tolerance, bitter-taste sensitivity and high-altitude adaptation. More recently, her work has focused on the genetics of height, skin pigmentation, and cardio-metabolic and immune-related traits.

“The support I received as a Packard Fellow enabled me to pursue new research directions that couldn’t easily have been funded otherwise, like field work throughout Africa,” said Dr. Tishkoff. “As a member of the Advisory Panel, I am looking forward to supporting early-career investigators who face similar challenges in leading unique research programs.”

The Packard Fellowships are among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships, designed to allow maximum flexibility in how the funding is used. Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded $394 million to support 577 scientists and engineers from 54 national universities.  The Fellowships program was inspired by David Packard’s commitment to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs in the United States, recognizing that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he cofounded, was derived in large measure from research and development in university laboratories.

This fall, the Advisory Panel will recommend the 30th class of Fellows for approval by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Board of Trustees. For more detailed information on each of the Fellows, please visit the Fellowships Directory. Follow the Packard Foundation on Twitter (@PackardFdn) and join in the conversation about the Fellows Program by using the hashtag #PackardFellows.

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About the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

For nearly 30 years, the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering program has awarded $394 million to support 577 scientists from 54 top national universities. It is among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships, designed with minimal constraints on how the funding is used to give the Fellows freedom to think big and look at complex issues with a fresh perspective. Packard Fellows have gone on to receive additional awards and honors, including the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Fields Medal, the MacArthur Fellowships, and elections to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Visit the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering webpage to learn more about the program and watch a video about the Fellowships.

About the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a private family foundation created in 1964 by David Packard (1912–1996), cofounder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and Lucile Salter Packard (1914–1987). The Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in the following program areas: Conservation and Science; Population and Reproductive Health; Children, Families, and Communities; and Local Grantmaking. The Foundation makes national and international grants and also has a special focus on the Northern California counties of San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey. Foundation grantmaking includes support for a wide variety of activities including direct services, research and policy development, and public information and education. Learn more at