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Three Northwestern professors named Sloan Research Fellows

Young researchers are ‘rising stars of the academic community’

Three Northwestern University faculty members -- mathematician Bao Le Hung, astrophysicist Raffaella Margutti and biomedical engineer Jonathan Rivnay -- each have been awarded a prestigious 2019 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The three are among 126 outstanding early-career scholars being recognized for their achievements and potential to contribute substantially to their scientific fields. This year’s recipients were chosen from 57 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

The two-year $70,000 fellowship is one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to early career researchers. The fellowships are awarded annually in the fields of chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics.

“Sloan Research Fellows are the best young scientists working today,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Sloan Fellows stand out for their creativity, for their hard work, for the importance of the issues they tackle, and the energy and innovation with which they tackle them. To be a Sloan Fellow is to be in the vanguard of 21st-century science.”

lehung250Bao Le Hung was selected as a Sloan Research Fellow in mathematics. He is an assistant professor of mathematics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Le Hung’s current research lies at the intersection of number theory, algebraic geometry and representation theory. He is particularly interested in the surprising connection between the discrete symmetries arising in number theory and the continuous symmetries that arise in representation theory, with geometry serving as the medium.​

margutti250Raffaella Margutti was selected as a Sloan Research Fellow in physics. She is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy in Weinberg College and a member of Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). Margutti uses observations across the electromagnetic spectrum (from gamma-rays to radio) to study the most violent events in our universe, including superluminous stellar explosions, disruptions of stars by supermassive black holes and mergers of neutron stars, which are sources of now-detectable gravitational waves.

rivnay250Jonathan Rivnay was selected as a Sloan Research Fellow in chemistry. He is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. Rivnay is dedicated to developing new materials and devices to bridge the gap between living tissue and traditional electronics. His research group’s aim is to study how these soft, electrically conductive materials work, to guide materials design and to enable and advance bioelectronic systems for diagnosis, therapy, rehabilitation and tissue regeneration.

Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 104 faculty members from Northwestern have received a Sloan Research Fellowship.

Administered and funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships are awarded in close cooperation with the scientific community. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and subsequently are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.