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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Honors Extraordinary Early-Career Scientists

President Obama today named 105** 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. The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC ceremony this spring.

“These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness,” President Obama said. “We congratulate these accomplished individuals and encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible promise and ingenuity of the American people.”

The Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. This year’s 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 Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and the Intelligence Community. These departments and agencies 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.

The newest recipients are*:

Department of Agriculture

Renee Arias, National Peanut Research Laboratory

Matthew Thompson, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Kenong Xu, Cornell University

Department of Commerce

Nathan Bacheler, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Adam Creuziger, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Gijs de Boer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Colorado-Boulder

Tara Lovestead, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Andrew Ludlow, National Institute of Standards and Technology

James Thorson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Department of Defense

Pieter Abbeel, University of California-Berkeley

Deji Akinwande, University of Texas-Austin

Jin-Hee Cho, US Army Research Laboratory

Sarah Cowie, University of Nevada-Reno

Dino Di Carlo, University of California-Los Angeles

Alon Gorodetsky, University of California-Irvine

Elad Harel, Northwestern University

Patrick Hopkins, University of Virginia

Anya Jones, University of Maryland

Colin Joye, Naval Research Laboratory

Lena Kourkoutis, Cornell University

Jennifer Miksis-Olds, Pennsylvania State University

Timothy Ombrello, Air Force Research Laboratory

Heather Pidcoke, US Army Institute of Surgical Research

James Rondinelli, Drexel University

Bozhi Tian, University of Chicago

Luke Zettlemoyer, University of Washington

Department of Education

Christopher Lemons, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University

Cynthia Puranik, University of Pittsburgh

Department of Energy

Tonio Buonassisi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Milind Kulkarni, Purdue University

Keji Lai, University of Texas-Austin

Paul Ohodnicki, Jr., National Energy Technology Laboratory

Michelle O'Malley, University of California, Santa Barbara

Matthias Schindler, University of South Carolina

Jonathan Simon, University of Chicago

Michael Stadler, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Melissa Teague, Idaho National Laboratory

William Tisdale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jonathan Hopkins, University of California, Los Angeles

Tammy Ma, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

David Mascareñas, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Department of Health and Human Services

Hillel Adesnik, University of California, Berkeley

Cheryl Broussard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Samantha Brugmann, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Namandje Bumpus, Johns Hopkins University

Jacob Carr, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kafui Dzirasa, Duke University

Camilla Forsberg, University of California, Santa Cruz

Tina Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh

Viviana Gradinaru, California Institute of Technology

Jordan Green, Johns Hopkins University

Katie Kindt, National Institutes of Health

Andre Larochelle, National Institutes of Health

Jennifer Lorvick, RTI International

Courtney Miller, The Scripps Research Institute

Kiran Musunuru, Harvard University

David Pagliarini, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Sachin Patel, Vanderbilt University

Amy Ralston, University of California Santa Cruz

Carrie Reed, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ervin Sejdic, University of Pittsburgh

Elizabeth Skidmore, University of Pittsburgh

Kay Tye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Muhammad Walji, The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston

Department of Interior

Richard Briggs, U.S. Geological Survey

Jeffrey Pigati, U.S. Geological Survey

Maureen Purcell, U.S. Geological Survey

Department of Veterans Affairs

Paul Marasco, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Panagiotis Roussos, James J. Peters VA Medical Center

Erika Wolf, VA Boston Healthcare System

Environmental Protection Agency

Rebecca Dodder, EPA

Alex Marten, EPA

Intelligence Community

Kregg Arms, National Security Agency

Nicole Bohannon, Central Intelligence Agency

Ashley Holt, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Jon Kosloski, National Security Agency

David Loveall, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Whitney Nelson, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

James Benardini, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Jin-Woo Han, NASA Ames Research Center

Michele Manuel, University of Florida

Andrew Molthan, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Colleen Mouw, Michigan Technological University

Vikram Shyam, NASA Glenn Research Center

National Science Foundation

Adam Abate, University of California at San Francisco

Marcel Agueros, Columbia University

Arezoo Ardekani, University of Notre Dame

Cullen Buie, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Erin Carlson, Indiana University

Antonius Dieker, Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Erika Edwards, Brown University

Julia Grigsby, Boston College

Todd Gureckis, New York University

Tessa Hill, University of California - Davis

Daniel Krashen, University of Georgia

Rahul Mangharam, University of Pennsylvania

David Masiello, University of Washington

Daniel McCloskey, College of Staten Island, City University of New York

Shwetak Patel, University of Washington

Aaron Roth, University of Pennsylvania

Sayeef Salahuddin, University of California, Berkeley

Jakita Thomas, Spelman College

Joachim Walther, University of Georgia

Kristen Wendell, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Benjamin Williams, University of California-Los Angeles

*Recipients are listed with their affiliated institution as of their nomination.

**This article has been corrected from a previous version, on February 18, 2016.