Congratulations to our 2017 inaugural class of Foresight Fellows!
The Foresight Fellowship is an exclusive one year supportive program committed to giving change-makers the support and mentorship to accelerate their bold ideas into the future.
Our mission is to catalyze collaboration among leading young scientists, engineers, and innovators who are working on emerging new technologies that have the power to transform society. Since 1993 Foresight Institute has been rewarding those who are making strides in the field of Nanotechnology with the Feynman Prize. In 2016, one of our former Feynman Prize winners, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work with molecular machines. Foresight Institute recognizes that providing a strong network and knowledge base for new fellows to access will accelerate their missions and reflect our goals to further support those making important strides in a variety of fields.
During the 1 year program, Fellows will be invited to engage in events, connect to fellows and mentors, and increase their skills to succeed with their endeavors.
2017 Foresight Fellows
Jonathan Barnes, Synthetic Polymer Chemistry
Jonathan Barnes is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. Jonathan received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Northwestern University, an MS in Organic Chemistry and B.S. in Chemistry both from the University of Kentucky. Inspired by the art of synthetic organic chemistry, Jonathan looks outside of the physical sciences as inspiration for making functional organic materials and molecular machines that may be used to solve problems in chemistry, energy, and human health.
Chuyang Cheng, Molecular Machines
Chuyang Cheng is currently a Postdoc Researcher working in Sir Fraser Stoddart’s group at Northwestern University, from which he received his Ph.D. in Chemistry. He received his BS in Chemistry from Peking University. His research focus is on design and synthesis molecular machines as well as incorporating molecular machines into functional materials. Mr. Cheng was the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Student Award from the Foresight Institute. He is most enthusiastic about controlling molecules to do what he expects them to do precisely.
Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli, Biomolecular Machines
Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli is currently Associate Professor of Engineering, College of Science at University of Massachusetts Boston and Visiting Scientist, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT. Her areas of expertise are nanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, nanomaterials, and rapid diagnostics. Kimberly received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and an S.B. in Chemistry from MIT. Her mission is to create a scientific legacy, which means training people that are not only skilled and creative, but also have a strong sense of citizenship and integrity.
Eric Hinterman, Space Technologies
Eric Hinterman is a current Ph.D. Candidate at MIT in Astronautics and a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Notre Dame and worked in the chemicals industry for three years prior to beginning his graduate studies. Eric is intensely driven to develop technologies needed to colonize Mars, as he believes it is critically necessary to increase the long-term survivability of humanity by colonizing another planet. His background in chemical engineering and current program in astronautics provide a unique basis for his studies in the development of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) technologies critical to enabling astronauts to survive on Mars. He hopes to move into industry after receiving his degree and drive humanity towards space colonization for the betterment of future generations.
Cosmo Mielke, Longevity
Cosmo Mielke is currently the founder of Infino.me, a nonprofit research project to study aging with user donated quantified self data. Cosmo received his PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from the Biodesign Institute and the Mayo Clinic, and a B.S. in Astronomy, Physics and Mathematics from the University of Arizona. He is also a data scientist in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where he manages the computational pipelines to analyze MRI scans of Alzheimer's patients. He is inspired most by the rapidly changing landscape of science.
Michael Skuhersky, Mind Uploading
Michael Skuhersky is a graduate student in the Synthetic Neurobiology group at the MIT Media Lab. Previously, he was at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, working on protein docking dynamics, rapid fabrication techniques, and spatial computing architectures. Before that, he conducted research in various areas of particle physics at MIT and UCLA. He is passionate about devoting his time to making mind uploading a reality in his lifetime; currently he is attempting to build and validate an emulation of a simple brain that will respond to and deliver external stimuli in the exact same way as that of a real organism. He has also dabbled in practical applications of transhumanism while running a novel prosthetics startup aimed at the Chinese market. In his spare time, he goes hiking, studies world politics, and composes experimental music.
Eva-Maria Strauch, Protein Design
Eva-Maria Strauch is currently an acting instructor/translational investigator at the University of Washington's Institute for Protein Design. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin’s Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is inspired by the meticulous atomic details by which proteins are arranged and their involvement in almost all processes in life. She believes that if we understand how a virus's proteins encode information about how to enter and hijack specific cells, we will identify its Achilles heel and be able to stop viral infections. We might also learn new ways to fight cancer cells
Berhane Temelso, Computational Chemistry
Berhane Temelso is currently a computational chemistry research scientist working at Furman University. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology and B.A. in physics from Berea College. His Ph.D. work explored the ability of the most rigorous first-principles computational methods to reproduce molecular properties derived from experiment. His current research is mainly focused on the application of efficient computational methods to understand the structure and dynamics of hydrogen-bonded systems ranging from water clusters to atmospheric aerosols. A large part of his efforts are devoted to understanding the effect of atmospheric aerosols on the global radiation balance and ways in which they can be used to engineer solutions to mitigate climate change. Berhane is an author on early papers on hydrogen abstraction and donation tools for the mechanosynthesis of diamondoids published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry A.
Nell Watson, Machine Ethics
Nell Watson is an engineer, entrepreneur, and futurist thinker who grew up in Northern Ireland. She has a longstanding interest in the philosophy of technology and how extensions of human capacity drive emerging social trends. Nell lectures globally on machine intelligence, AI philosophy, human-machine relations, and the future of human society, serving as Associate Faculty at Singularity University. She is Co-founder of OpenEth.org, an ‘ethical explication engine’ that aims to crowdsource ethical heuristics for autonomous systems. In 2011 Nell founded Poikos (now QuantaCorp.io), a computer vision technology company, that enables fast capture of body measurements from two pictures.
Christopher Wilmer, Molecular Machines
Christopher Wilmer is currently an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh where he leads the Hypothetical Materials Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical & Biological Engineering from Northwestern University and BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. He was the co-founder of NuMat Technologies and co-founding editor of the journal Ledger. Since he first read Eric Drexler's Engines of Creation and Ray Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines, he wanted to become a physicist. He believes the world needs more engineers developing nanotechnology.