School of Science announces 2024 Infinite Expansion Awards

April 24, 2024

The MIT School of Science has announced nine postdocs and research scientists as recipients of the 2024 Infinite Expansion Award, which highlights extraordinary members of the MIT community. The following are the 2024 School of Science Infinite Expansion winners:Sarthak Chandra, a research scientist in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, was nominated by Professor Ila Fiete, who wrote, “He has expanded the research abilities of my group by being a versatile and brilliant scientist, by drawing connections with a different area that he was an expert in from his PhD training, and by being a highly involved and caring mentor.”Michal Fux, a research scientist in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, was nominated by Professor Pawan Sinha, who wrote, “She is one of those figurative beams of light that not only brilliantly illuminate scientific questions, but also enliven a research team.”Andrew Savinov, a postdoc in the Department of Biology, was nominated by Associate Professor Gene-Wei Li, who wrote, “Andrew is an extraordinarily creative and accomplished biophysicist, as well as an outstanding contributor to the broader MIT community.”Ho Fung Cheng, a postdoc in the Department of Chemistry, was nominated by Professor Jeremiah Johnson, who wrote, “His impact on research and our departmental community during his time at MIT has been outstanding, and I believe that he will be a worldclass teacher and research group leader in his independent career next year.”Gabi Wenzel, a postdoc in the Department of Chemistry, was nominated by Assistant Professor Brett McGuire, who wrote, “In the one year since Gabi joined our team, she has become an indispensable leader, demonstrating exceptional skill, innovation, and dedication in our challenging research environment.”Yu-An Zhang, a postdoc in the Department of Chemistry, was nominated by Professor Alison Wendlandt, who wrote, “He is a creative, deep-thinking scientist and a superb organic chemist. But above all, he is an off-scale mentor and a cherished coworker.”Wouter Van de Pontseele, a senior postdoc in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science, was nominated by Professor Joseph Formaggio, who wrote, “He is a talented scientist with an intense creativity, scholarship, and student mentorship record. In the time he has been with my group, he has led multiple facets of my experimental program and has been a wonderful citizen of the MIT community.”Alexander Shvonski, a lecturer in the Department of Physics, was nominated by Assistant Professor Andrew Vanderburg, who wrote, “… I have been blown away by Alex’s knowledge of education research and best practices, his skills as a teacher and course content designer, and I have been extremely grateful for his assistance.”David Stoppel, a research scientist in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, was nominated by Professor Mark Bear and his research group, who wrote, “As impressive as his research achievements might be, David’s most genuine qualification for this award is his incredible commitment to mentorship and the dissemination of knowledge.”Winners are honored with a monetary award and will be celebrated with family, friends, and nominators at a later date, along with recipients of the Infinite Mile Award.

The MIT School of Science has announced nine postdocs and research scientists as recipients of the 2024 Infinite Expansion Award, which highlights extraordinary members of the MIT community.

The following are the 2024 School of Science Infinite Expansion winners:

  • Sarthak Chandra, a research scientist in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, was nominated by Professor Ila Fiete, who wrote, “He has expanded the research abilities of my group by being a versatile and brilliant scientist, by drawing connections with a different area that he was an expert in from his PhD training, and by being a highly involved and caring mentor.”
     
  • Michal Fux, a research scientist in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, was nominated by Professor Pawan Sinha, who wrote, “She is one of those figurative beams of light that not only brilliantly illuminate scientific questions, but also enliven a research team.”
     
  • Andrew Savinov, a postdoc in the Department of Biology, was nominated by Associate Professor Gene-Wei Li, who wrote, “Andrew is an extraordinarily creative and accomplished biophysicist, as well as an outstanding contributor to the broader MIT community.”
     
  • Ho Fung Cheng, a postdoc in the Department of Chemistry, was nominated by Professor Jeremiah Johnson, who wrote, “His impact on research and our departmental community during his time at MIT has been outstanding, and I believe that he will be a worldclass teacher and research group leader in his independent career next year.”
     
  • Gabi Wenzel, a postdoc in the Department of Chemistry, was nominated by Assistant Professor Brett McGuire, who wrote, “In the one year since Gabi joined our team, she has become an indispensable leader, demonstrating exceptional skill, innovation, and dedication in our challenging research environment.”
     
  • Yu-An Zhang, a postdoc in the Department of Chemistry, was nominated by Professor Alison Wendlandt, who wrote, “He is a creative, deep-thinking scientist and a superb organic chemist. But above all, he is an off-scale mentor and a cherished coworker.”
     
  • Wouter Van de Pontseele, a senior postdoc in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science, was nominated by Professor Joseph Formaggio, who wrote, “He is a talented scientist with an intense creativity, scholarship, and student mentorship record. In the time he has been with my group, he has led multiple facets of my experimental program and has been a wonderful citizen of the MIT community.”
     
  • Alexander Shvonski, a lecturer in the Department of Physics, was nominated by Assistant Professor Andrew Vanderburg, who wrote, “… I have been blown away by Alex’s knowledge of education research and best practices, his skills as a teacher and course content designer, and I have been extremely grateful for his assistance.”
     
  • David Stoppel, a research scientist in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, was nominated by Professor Mark Bear and his research group, who wrote, “As impressive as his research achievements might be, David’s most genuine qualification for this award is his incredible commitment to mentorship and the dissemination of knowledge.”

Winners are honored with a monetary award and will be celebrated with family, friends, and nominators at a later date, along with recipients of the Infinite Mile Award.

The source of this news is from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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