Roozbeh Kiani, a former student of the Graduate Program in Neurobiology & Behavior at UW, has been awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Awarded annually since 1955, these fellowships are given to early-career scientists whose achievements and potential identify them as the next generation of scientific leaders. Roozbeh is currently an Assistant professor at NYU’s Center for Neural Science. His research focuses on the neuroscience behind the decision-making process, which researchers believe is dependent on interaction of several cortical and subcortical brain areas that, collectively, represent sensory information, retrieve relevant memories, and plan and execute desired actions. Roozbeh aims to better understand the underlying neural mechanisms that are fundamental to this process
Paul L. Joskow, the president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, announced in an official press release: “For more than half a century, the Sloan Foundation has been proud to honor the best young scientific minds and support them during a crucial phase of their careers when early funding and recognition can really make a difference. These researchers are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge in unprecedented ways.”
Past Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to notable careers and include such intellectual luminaries as physicist Richard Feynman and game theorist John Nash. Since the beginning of the program in 1955, 42 fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 13 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, and 63 have received the National Medal of Science. There are 9 Sloan Fellows among the Neurobiology and Behavior faculty. Another program graudate, Abigail Person, now at the University of Colorado, was an awardee in 2013.
Awarded in eight scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics—the Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded through cooperation with the scientific community. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate’s independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.