The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named twenty-five new MacArthur Fellows for 2006.
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 desigend to enable fellows to accelerate their current activities or take their work in new directions.
This year's recipients include Regina Carter, a jazz violinist who has invented a modern repertoire for the violin in contemporary and improvisational music; Kevin Eggan, a developmental biologist whose research on cellular differentiation and plasticity has moved the field a step closer to therapeutic applications for myriad human diseases; Edith Widder, a deep-sea explorer who has invented a technologically innovative device for observing and collecting data from the ocean's depths; D. Holmes Morton, a country doctor whose work has revolutionized service, research, and outcomes for clinical treatment of rare genetic diseases; and Claire Tomlin, an aviation engineer who has expanded the abstract mathematical principles of control systems theory to address practical problems in areas such as aircraft flight control and collision avoidance.
"There is something palpable about this group of MacArthur Fellows — about their character as explorers and pioneers," said Daniel J. Socolow, director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, now in its twenty-sixth year. "This program was designed for such people — designed to provide an extra measure of freedom, visibility, and opportunity to sustain and nurture their trajectories."