Edward DeLong - Three from MIT named Marine Microbiology Initiative investigators
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awards given to pursue high-risk research in marine
December 4, 2012
Three MIT researchers were named Marine Microbiology Initiative investigators on Monday by the Gordon and
Betty Moore Foundation — an honor that includes funding for pioneering research in the field of marine microbial
Edward DeLong, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Department of
Biological Engineering; Michael Follows, a senior research scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and
Planetary Sciences; and Roman Stocker, an associate professor in CEE, were among 16 awardees nationwide.
MIT was the only institution to have more than one investigator named this year.
The funding — up to $35 million over five years combined for all the recipients — will enable researchers to
explore how the trillions of microscopic organisms at the base of the ocean’s food webs interact with each other
and their environment, according to a press release from the foundation. The research will also provide new
insights — and lead to new and exciting questions — about our basic understanding of ocean ecosystems and
issues such as climate change.
“Too often, the most innovative scientists are hampered by funding that binds them to a solid, but conservative
research agenda,” explained Bruce Alberts, a foundation board member and editor-in-chief of Science magazine.
“These awards give scientists in marine microbiology the freedom and flexibility to take more risks, forge unusual
collaborations and, ultimately, make noteworthy, new discoveries.”
The current cohort of 16 investigators was chosen through an extensive review process that considered more
than 180 applications.
Since it was launched in 2004, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative has
accelerated the rate of discovery in the field of microbial oceanography. For example, through supporting DNA
sequencing and new sensor technologies, the Marine Microbiology Initiative has enabled researchers to reveal
the immense diversity of microbes in the ocean and the important roles they play in regulating both the ocean
environment and our atmosphere.
Read the full release: http://www.moore.org/newsitem.aspx?id=4809