30th September, 2010
A Nigerian biophysicist, Dr. John O. Dabiri, is one of this yearâ€™s winners of theÂ prestigious MacArthur Genius Awards.Â He is among the 23 winners selected across theÂ world.
Online news portal, Huffington Post reports that Dabiri, aged 30 years, is an AssociateÂ Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology,Â Pasadena, California.
He received his undergraduate degree, BSE, summa cum laude in Mechanical and AerospaceÂ Engineering from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
The MacArthur Foundation was quoted as saying that Dabiri is â€œinvestigating theÂ hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion, which has profound implications for ourÂ understanding of evolutionary adaptation and such related issues in fluid dynamics asÂ blood flow in the human heart.â€
The famed MacArthur Fellows Program, awards â€œGeniusâ€ grants to exceptional inventors,Â innovators and other creative types. Dabiri gets the $500,000 grant and is unrestrictedÂ in promoting the work of the winner.
This yearâ€™s honorees were contacted out of the blue by The John D. and Catherine T.Â MacArthur Foundation and offered $500,000 each with no strings attached over the nextÂ five years to pursue work in their field of interest.
â€œThis group of Fellows, along with the more than 800 who have come before, reflects theÂ tremendous breadth of creativity among us,â€ said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci in aÂ press release.
â€œThey are explorers and risk takers, contributing to their fields and to society inÂ innovative, impactful ways. They provide us all with inspiration and hope for theÂ future.â€
The foundation introduced the 23 fellows by providing a video of each winner and theirÂ important contributions in a vast array of fields.
Reacting to the award, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka said: â€œI am exceedinglyÂ happy, as always, to read this news about (Dabiri) a member of the Joshua generation ofÂ my home country, Nigeria and I feel very happy that Iâ€™m not writing this time about theÂ sickening corruption in my home country.â€