Women Win Three of the Four Investigator Awards From the Brown Science Foundation

The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation in Metairie, Louisiana, has announced the four recipients of the annual Brown Investigator Awards. The award, which recognizes curiosity-driven basic research in chemistry and physics, supports investigators’ research with $2 million over five years to their respective universities.

The Browns moved to New Orleans in the 1920s and made a fortune in the oil, real estate, and horse racing industries. Their foundation, established in 1958, has a mission of alleviating human suffering. The Brown Investigator Awards were established in 2020 in the belief that scientific discovery is a driving force in the improvement of the human condition. This year, three of the four honorees are women.

Tanya Zelevinsky is a professor of physics at Columba University in New York City. She leads an experimental research group in atomic, molecular, and optical physics, with a focus on ultracold molecules and precision measurement. Dr. Zelevinsky has taught at Columbia since 2008. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she majored in physics and mathematics. She holds a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University.

Hema Karunadasa is an associate professor of chemistry and senior fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. Her research focuses on materials science, earth science, and applied physics to drive the discovery of new materials with applications in clean energy. Dr. Karunadasa is a graduate of Princeton University in New Jersey, where she studied chemistry and materials science. She earned a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

Munira Khalil is the Leon C. Johnson Professor of Chemistry and chair of the department of chemistry at the University of Washington. Dr. Khalil is a physical chemist whose research focuses on developing a microscopic understanding of how coupled electronic, vibrational, and solvent degrees of freedom optimize charge and energy transfer pathways in molecular photochemistry. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2007. Professor Khalil is a graduate of Colgate University n Hamilton, New York, where she doubled majored in chemistry and English. She holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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