The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named twenty-four new MacArthur Fellows for 2007.
Selected for their creativity, originality, and potential, the recipients of what are often referred to as the "Genius Awards" each receive $500,000 over five years with no strings attached. The fellowships are awarded to women and men of all ages and at all career stages and are designed to enable fellows to accelerate their current activities or take their work in new directions.
This year's recipients include Dawn Upshaw, a Grammy-winning soprano who stretches the boundaries of operatic and concert singing and helps redefine the landscape of contemporary music; Cheryl Hayachi, a spider silk biologist who works to reveal the architecture, properties, and function of spider silks as a basis for new synthetic materials; Saul Griffith, an inventor engineering innovations spanning optics, high-performance textiles, and nanotechnology; Mercedes Doretti, a forensic anthropologist unearthing evidence of crimes against humanity, especially those that have been omitted from the historical record; and Paul Rothemund, a nanotechnologist working with DNA to create complex shapes and patterns that provide a platform for building nanodevices of the future.
"As a group, this new class of Fellows takes one's breath away," said Daniel J. Socolow, director of MacArthur's fellows program. "As individuals, each is an original. To the person, they confirm that the creative individual is alive and well, at the cutting edge, and at work singularly and powerfully to make our world a better place. They are people who will change and influence our times."
For the complete list of the 2007 MacArthur Fellows, visit the MacArthur Foundation Web site.