5 physicians, health experts among 2021 MacArthur Fellows

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The MacArthur Foundation released the names of 25 people, including five health experts, selected to receive the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship Sept. 28. Fellows are awarded $625,000. 

The fellowship is a "no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential," and recipients are encouraged to use the award to pursue their own creative or professional endeavors. 

Those selected as fellows have demonstrated exceptional creativity; the promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments; and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. 

An external pool of invited nominators brings nominees to the program's attention. Nominators are selected from a wide range of fields and specialties, and are encouraged to draw on their own expertise to nominate the most creative people. The pool of nominators, which changes every year, present their nominations to an independent selection committee with about a dozen leaders from a wide range of fields. All individuals involved in the nomination and selection process serve anonymously.  

Each year since 1981, about 20 to 30 fellows are selected. A total of 1,061 people have been named MacArthur fellows since the program's launch. 

Here are five physician and health experts who were selected for the MacArthur Fellowship for 2021:

  • Marcella Alsan, MD, PhD, a physician-economist at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. 
  • Trevor Bedford, PhD, a computational virologist with the vaccine and and infectious disease division at Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, a neuroscientist and neuro-oncologist in the department of neurology and neurological scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. 
  • Ibrahim Cisse, PhD, a biological physicist in the biological physics department at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Germany 
  • Victor Torres, a microbiologist with New York City based-New York University Grossman School of Medicine 


To view the full list of recipients, click here.

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