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MacArthur Foundation Announces 25 New ‘Genius’ Fellowships

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

“I was in disbelief at first, but it sounded very official,” she said. Dr. Eberlin, 32, moved to the United States a decade ago after completing her undergraduate studies in Brazil, where she grew up.

After completing her Ph.D. at Purdue University and a post-doctorate at Stanford University, she now develops chemical methods and technologies to measure molecules from clinical samples like tissues. This information is used to better detect diseases, including cancer. Her crowning achievement, she said, was the development of the MasSpec Pen, a hand-held device that can detect cancer by touching human tissue.

Although many MacArthur fellows have no political element to their work, many winners align with the foundation’s liberal values and mission (“creating a more just, verdant and peaceful world”). One winner this year is the Rev. William J. Barber II, a North Carolina pastor who has become a leading civil rights activist. In 2013, when he was still president of the North Carolina N.A.A.C.P., he rose to prominence with “Moral Monday” protests in Raleigh to combat voting-rights restrictions. He spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and has been a vocal critic of President Trump.

On Thursday, when reached by The News & Observer, a Raleigh-based newspaper, Mr. Barber, 55, was in Chicago leading a demonstration in support of raising the minimum wage. “I’ve just been arrested in Chicago, and I’m waiting on their process,” Mr. Barber told The News & Observer. “For minimum wage, in front of McDonald’s headquarters.”

The foundation, which has long supported refugee and immigration causes and has been critical of Mr. Trump’s policies, also gave a fellowship to Becca Heller, a human rights lawyer who runs the International Refugee Assistance Project, or IRAP.

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