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CIFAR welcomes new fellows

Celebrating 112 appointments from across disciplines and around the world

CIFAR is proud to announce new program appointments across its four research theme areas: Life & Health, Individuals & Society, Information & Matter and Earth & Space.

Among the 112 new fellows and advisors are:

  • Medical doctors who develop new ways to treat deadly fungal infections;
  • Computer scientists who design robots that can understand what they see;
  • Microbiologists who uncover new species of bacteria deep beneath the earth’s surface;
  • Lawyers and legal scholars interested in the nature of citizenship;
  • Four CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars, early-career researchers who represent the next generation of research leaders, who become CIFAR fellows.

The new fellows are among the 400+ extraordinary interdisciplinary researchers from around the world who convene at regular CIFAR program meetings to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

“With time and the freedom that CIFAR offers, we believe their research will transform knowledge and improve lives.”

Fellows and program advisors share and critique preliminary findings and data, often prior to publication, and gain insights from peers across disciplines. The environment of intellectual freedom afforded by CIFAR fosters deep collaboration and trust between program members.

“I am proud to welcome these research leaders into the CIFAR community,” says John Hepburn, Vice-President of Research & Partnerships, CIFAR. “Program members are carefully selected so that meetings are vibrant and intellectually stimulating. With time and the freedom that CIFAR offers, we believe their research will transform knowledge and improve lives.”


CIFAR is a Canadian-based global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address science’s and humanity’s most important questions.

NewFellows-stats-smallQuick Facts about New Fellows

  • 112 new fellows, advisors & co-directors
  • Four CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars become fellows
  • CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 400+ of the world’s most accomplished fellows, scholars and advisors – New program members represent universities and research institutions in 10 countries; Our community of fellows represent 130+ institutions in 22 countries
  • Our new research portfolio includes 13 interdisciplinary research programs – Research programs are funded for an average of 10 years
  • 19 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with CIFAR since its founding in 1982
  • More than half of CIFAR fellows have contributed to the top 1% of most influential research papers

Life & Health

Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities
What might we uncover in an unknown biosphere?

New co-directors:

Leah Cowen, University of Toronto

Joseph Heitman, Duke University

New advisors:

Arturo Casadevall, Johns Hopkins University

David Denning, University of Manchester

Neil Gow, University of Exeter

Regine Kahmann, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology

John Taylor, University of California, Berkeley

New fellows:

David Blehert, US Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center

Charles Boone, University of Toronto (Former Genetic Networks co-director)

Christina Cuomo, Broad Institute

Matthew Fisher, Imperial College London

Sarah Gurr, University of Exeter

Hailing Jin, University of California, Riverside

Bruce S. Klein, University of Wisconsin

J.W. Kronstad, University of British Columbia

Don Sheppard, McGill University

Jason E. Stajich, University of California, Riverside

Eva Holtgrewe Stukenbrock, University of Kiel & Max Planck Institute of  Evolutionary Biology

Gerard Wright, McMaster University

Humans & the Microbiome
How do microbes that live in and on us affect our health, development and even behaviour?

New co-director:

Melissa Melby, University of Delaware (former advisor)

New fellows:

Katherine R. Amato, Northwestern University (former CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar)

Maria Gloria Dominguez, Rutgers University


Molecular Architecture of Life
How does life originate and what are the processes that make life possible?

No changes

Individuals & Society

Azrieli Brain, Mind & Consciousness
What are the origins and mechanisms of consciousness?

No changes

Boundaries, Membership & Belonging
Is it possible to have a world without “us” and “them”?

New co-directors:

Irene Bloemraad, University of California Berkeley

Will Kymlicka, Queen’s University

New advisors:

Keith Banting, Queen’s University

Catherine Dauvergne, University of British Columbia

Hazel Markus, Stanford University (also an advisor in Successful Societies)

Vijayendra Rao, World Bank (also an advisor in Successful Societies

Ayelet Shachar, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious & Ethnic Diversity

New fellows:

Yasmeen Abu-Laban, University of Alberta

Victoria M. Esses, Western University

Allison Harell, Université de Québec à Montréal

Evan S. Lieberman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Audrey Macklin, University of Toronto

Stephen Reicher, St. Andrews University

Prerna Singh, Brown University (also a fellow in Successful Societies)

Andreas Wimmer, Columbia University

Innovation, Equity & the Future of Prosperity
How can innovation be beneficial to all?

New co-directors:

Dan Breznitz, University of Toronto

Susan Helper, Case Western Reserve University

New associate director:

Amos Zehavi, Tel Aviv University

New advisor:

Woody Powell, Stanford University

New fellows:

Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law School

Jane Gingrich, University of Oxford

Ray Gosine, Memorial University

William Lazonick, Academic-Industry Research Network

Keun Lee, Seoul National University

Ken Lipartito, Florida International University

Andrew Schrank, Brown University

Child & Brain Development
How do childhood experiences affect lifelong health?

New co-directors:

Takao Hensch, Harvard University (former fellow)

Candice Odgers, University of California Irvine (former fellow)

New advisors:

Thomas Boyce, University of California, San Francisco (former program co-director)

Ulman Lyndenberger, Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Michael Meaney, McGill University (former fellow)

New fellows:

Daniel Ansari, Western University

Daniel Belsky, Columbia University

Ami Citri, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Kieran O’Donnell, McGill University (former CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar)

Marla Sokolowski, University of Toronto (former program co-director)

New associate fellows:

Megan Gunnar, University of Minnesota (former fellow)

David Clayton, Queen Mary University of London (former fellow)

Daniela Kaufer, University of California Berkeley (former fellow)

Bryan Kolb, University of Lethbridge (former fellow)

Janet Werker, University of British Columbia (former fellow)

Brian Dias (former CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar)

Earth & Space

Earth 4D: Subsurface Science & Exploration
How do we understand the life, groundwater and environment deep below the surface of the planet?

New co-directors:

Barbara Sherwood Lollar, University of Toronto

Jack Mustard, Brown University

New advisors:

Jan Amend, University of Southern California

Fumio Inagaki, R&D Center for Ocean Drilling Science

Jeffrey McDonnell, University of Saskatchewan

Bénédicte Ménez, Paris Diderot University & Institute Physique du Globe

New fellows:

Chris Ballentine, University of Oxford

Heather Graham, University of Guelph

Jennifer McIntosh, University of Arizona

Joseph Michalski, University of Hong Kong

Victoria Orphan, California Institute of Technology

Magdalena Osburn, Northwestern University

Nigel Smith, SNOLAB & Laurentian University

Vlada Stamenković, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
What is the nature of extreme gravity, and how can it help us understand the origin and evolution of the universe?

New fellows:

Juna Kollmeier, Carnegie Institution for Science

Kendrick Smith, Perimeter Institute

Information & Matter

Learning in Machines & Brains
How do we understand intelligence and build intelligent machines?

New advisor:

Joelle Pineau, McGill University (former fellow)

New fellows:

Leon Bottou, Facebook AI Research

Emmanuel Dupoux, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS)

Chelsea Finn, Stanford University

Bernhard Schölkopf, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Raquel Urtasun, Uber ATG and University of Toronto

Quantum Information Science

How do we harness the power of quantum mechanics to improve information processing?

New advisors:

Michel Devoret, Yale University

John Preskill, California Institute of Technology

Ray Laflamme, University of Waterloo (former fellow)

New fellows:

Dorit Aharonov, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
David Gosset, University of Waterloo

Stacey Jeffery, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Ben Lanyon, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information

Irfan Siddiqi, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Stephanie Simmons, Simon Fraser University

Guifre Vidal, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Thomas Vidick, California Institute of Technology

New associate fellows:

David Bacon, Google

Jay Gambetta, IBM

Matthew Hastings, Microsoft Research

Jeremy O’Brien, PsiQuantum

Matthias Troyer, Microsoft Research



Quantum Materials
How could quantum materials transform our society?

New co-director:

Leon Balents, University of California Santa Barbara

New advisors:

Nigel Hussey, Radboud University

Allan Macdonald, University of Texas at Austin

Roser Valenti, Goethe University Frankfurt

 New fellows:

James Analytis, University of California, Berkeley

N. Peter Armitage, Johns Hopkins University

Claudia Felser, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids

Liang Fu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Satoru Nakatsuji, University of Tokyo

Kathryn Ross, Colorado State University (former CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar)

Support Us

CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

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