Ben Raphael was recently awarded the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship, one of the oldest and most competitive fellowship programs in the United States.
Ben's remarkable work developing novel computational and mathematical approaches to problems in biology, especially cancer genomics and comparative genomics, led to his inclusion in this elite group.
Selection procedures for the Sloan Research Fellowships are designed to identify those who show the most outstanding promise for fundamental contributions to new knowledge. “I am deeply honored to be selected as a Sloan fellow,” said Ben. “During my career, I have been fortunate to work in environments that promoted my research and to collaborate with exceptional scientists from various disciplines. I am pleased that the Sloan Fellowship provides the opportunity to continue my ongoing work and to push my research in new directions.”
The fellowships are awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to honor and promote the science of outstanding researchers early in their academic careers. The 118 winners are faculty members at 55 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada who are conducting research at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience. They receive grants of $50,000 for a two-year period to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them. The funds are planned to be used to support the work of Ben and his students in computational cancer genomics.
Aside from the monetary aspect of the fellowships, less tangible benefits have been cited by former Sloan fellows. The early recognition of distinguished performance which the fellowships confer, after years of arduous preparation, was said to be immensely encouraging and a stimulus to personal and career development.
The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955. Past recipients have gone on to win 38 Nobel prizes, 14 Fields Medals (mathematics), and eight John Bates Clark awards (economics).
Besides his Sloan Fellowship, Ben has previously received other recognition for his work, including a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, an outstanding accomplishment.