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Ginsberg awarded Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering

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January 4, 2012

Chemistry professor Naomi Ginsberg
Chemistry professor Naomi Ginsberg

Chemistry professor Naomi Ginsberg has been awarded a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She is one of 16 scientific researchers from U.S. universities to be selected. The fellowships, first announced in October 2011, carry an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years.

The Packard Fellowship program was established in 1988 to allow the nation’s most promising young professors to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions. The foundation hopes to develop scientific leaders, further their promising work in science and engineering and support their efforts to train the next generation of scientists.

The program arose from the commitment of David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company. He desired to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs in recognition that the success of the company. Packard believed that HP owed its success in large part to university research and development.

Over the past 23 years, the Packard Fellowships program has awarded $302 million to support 473 faculty members at 52 top national universities. It is among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships, designed with minimal constraints on how the funding is used to give the fellows freedom to think big and look at complex issues with a fresh perspective.

The foundation was impressed with Ginsberg’s research that “aims to determine how the structure of complex materials employed in natural and artificial light harvesting impacts the multiple stages of solar energy conversion from light absorption to photovoltage, and also to characterize real-time in situ biomolecular interaction dynamics, such as those in enzyme catalysis.”

Says Ginsberg, “The Packard Fellowship gives me the freedom to fuse my past research with scientific exploration in areas new to me. This allows me to conduct potentially higher-impact experiments that carry more associated risk than those that might be supported by traditional funding agencies.”

Previous Packard Fellows from the Department of Chemistry include Chris Chang (2006), Phillip Geissler (2005), Kristie Boering (2000), Jennifer Doudna (1996) and Martin Head-Gordon (1995).

More Information

Naomi Ginsberg Faculty webpage: http://chem.berkeley.edu/faculty/ginsberg

Ginsberg Group Research: http://sites.google.com/site/nsggrp/