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Latino PhD at Stanford Awarded MacArthur Genius Grant

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named 23 new MacArthur Fellows for 2010. All were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.

One of this years Fellows is Carlos D. Bustamante, PhD, a population biologist at Stanford University who mines DNA sequence data for insights into the dynamics and migration of populations and the mechanisms of evolution and natural selection. In studies of humans, Bustamante analyzes SNPs (sites of common variation in a DNA sequence) from many individuals to infer changes in human populations and their relationship to specific gene mutations.

Through his multifaceted research, Bustamante is developing a rigorous, quantitative foundation for addressing fundamental questions about genetics and evolution across species, about patterns of population migration, and about the complex origins of human genetic diversity, before recorded history and since.

Like the other Fellows, Bustamante learned from an "out of the blue" phone call that he will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations and reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore. The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.

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