Five Yale scholars named Sloan Fellows
Five Yale scientists are among 126 researchers to be named 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows.
Awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the two-year fellowships are intended to stimulate fundamental research by promising early-career researchers with “unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.”
The 2013 Yale winners are Elena Gracheva, assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology; Nilay Hazari, assistant professor of chemistry; Alex Kontorovich, assistant professor of mathematics; Liang Jiang, assistant professor of applied physics; and Nikhil Padmanabhan, assistant professor of physics.
Gracheva studies mammalian hibernation as part of a long-term effort to understand the molecular basis of the physiological crosstalk between the somatosensory and central nervous systems as it pertains to the regulation of thermogenesis. Mammalian hibernators offer a special opportunity for identifying molecules that mediate temperature adaptation to extreme environmental conditions, she said, and to elucidate the mechanism of cold tolerance and reversible and controllable hypothermia.
Hazari’s work in synthetic inorganic and organometallic chemistry emphasizes reaction mechanisms and catalysis. The long-term goal of most of his work is the development of catalysts that could lead to more energy efficient and affordable industrial processes.
Kontorovich’s research concerns problems at the intersection of number theory, geometry, dynamics, and representation theory. Specifically, he studies harmonic analysis on symmetric spaces to try to answer simple questions about whole numbers.
Jiang researches fundamental questions in quantum physics, including the novel states of matter and how well individual quantum systems can be protected from a phenomenon called decoherence. His research on spin physics and topological phases is also closely related to quantum information processing, which would enable, for example, unconditionally secure communication over long distances.
Padmanabhan’s research program in cosmology is currently focused on better understanding the nature of dark energy with large galaxy surveys.
Further information on the fellowship, including a full list of fellows, is available online.