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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists

President Obama today named 96 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. 

“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” President Obama said.  “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”

The Presidential early career awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy.  The recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, which join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.

The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

This year’s recipients are:

Department of Agriculture
Joseph E. Jakes, U.S. Forest Service
Ian Kaplan, Purdue University
Christina L. Swaggerty, Agricultural Research Service

Department of Commerce
Anthony Arguez, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ian Coddington, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Frank W. DelRio, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Jayne Billmayer Morrow, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Kyle S. Van Houtan, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Rebecca Washenfelder, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Department of Defense
David M. Blei, Princeton University
Ania Bleszynski Jayich, University of California, Santa Barbara
Alejandro L. Briseno, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Lee R. Cambrea, Naval Air Research Intelligence
Vincent Conitzer, Duke University
Chiara Daraio, California Institute of Technology
Craig J. Fennie, Cornell University
Keith Edward Knipling, Naval Research Laboratory, Department of the Navy
Wen Li, Wayne State University
Timothy K. Lu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cindy Regal, University of Colorado Boulder
Matthew B. Squires, Air Force Research Laboratory, Department of the Air Force
Joseph E. Subotnik, University of Pennsylvania
Ao Tang, Cornell University
C. Shad Thaxton, Northwestern University
Maria Laina Urso, U.S. Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine

Department of Education
Li Cai, University of California, Los Angeles

Department of Energy
Stanley Atcitty, Sandia National Laboratories
Jeffrey W. Banks, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Amy J. Clarke, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Derek R. Gaston, Idaho National Laboratory
Christopher Hirata, California Institute of Technology
Heileen Hsu-Kim, Duke University
Thomas Francisco Jaramillo, Stanford University
Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John R. Kitchin, Carnegie Mellon University
Peter Mueller, Argonne National Laboratory
Daniel B. Sinars, Sandia National Laboratories
Jesse Thaler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Heather Whitley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Department of Health and Human Services
Erez Lieberman Aiden, Harvard University
Nihal Altan-Bonnet, Rutgers University
Peter D. Crompton, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Margherita R. Fontana, University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Ervin Ray Fox, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Valerie Horsley, Yale University
Steven T. Kosak, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Erica N. Larschan, Brown University
Daniel R. Larson, National Cancer Institute
Krista M. Lisdahl, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Emanual M. Maverakis, University of California, Davis
Biju Parekkadan, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Jay Zachary Parrish, University of Washington
Peter Philip Reese, University of Pennsylvania
Niels Ringstad, Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine
Pawan Sinha, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Georgios Skiniotis, University of Michigan
Beth Stevens, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children's Hospital
Justin Taraska, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Jennifer Rabke Verani, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Brendan M. Walker, Washington State University
Lauren Bailey Zapata, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Department of the Interior
Joseph P. Colgan, U.S. Geological Survey
Karen R. Felzer, U.S. Geological Survey
Justin J. Hagerty, U.S. Geological Survey

Department of Veterans Affairs
Jeffrey R. Capadona, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veteran Affairs Medical Center
Charlesnika T. Evans, Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital
Amy M. Kilbourne, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Kinh Luan Phan, Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Environmental Protection Agency
Adam P. Eisele, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mehdi Saeed Hazari, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Morgan B. Abney, Marshall Space Flight Center
Ian Gauld Clark, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology
Temilola Fatoyinbo-Agueh, Goddard Space Flight Center
Jessica E. Koehne, Ames Research Center
Francis M. McCubbin, Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico
Yuri Y. Shprits, University of California, Los Angeles

National Science Foundation
Baratunde Aole Cola, Georgia Institute of Technology
Brady R. Cox, University of Arkansas
Meghan A. Duffy, Georgia Institute of Technology
Joshua S. Figueroa, University of California, San Diego
Michael J. Freedman, Princeton University
Erin Marie Furtak, University of Colorado Boulder
B. Scott Gaudi, The Ohio State University
Curtis Huttenhower, Harvard University
Christopher A. Mattson, Brigham Young University
David C. Noone, University of Colorado Boulder
Parag A. Pathak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alice Louise Pawley, Purdue University
Amy Lucía Prieto, Colorado State University
Mayly C. Sanchez, Iowa State University and Argonne National Laboratory
Sridevi Vedula Sarma, Johns Hopkins University
Suzanne M. Shontz, Pennsylvania State University
Mariel Vázquez, San Francisco State University
Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University
Brent R. Waters, University of Texas, Austin
Jennifer Wortman Vaughan, University of California, Los Angeles