Skip to Content
MIT News: 77 Mass Ave

A new crop of awards

MIT people win a Nobel and two MacArthurs.

December 19, 2022

Three members of the MIT community have been honored with some of the world’s biggest awards.

In October, Ben S. Bernanke, PhD ’79, shared the Nobel Prize in economics with Douglas W. Diamond and Philip H. Dybvig. Bernanke, who chaired the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014, was honored for his work showing how bank runs exacerbated the Great Depression. After many banks collapsed, the Nobel citation states, “valuable information about borrowers was lost and could not be recreated quickly. Society’s ability to channel savings to productive investments was thus severely diminished.”

In September, chemistry professor Danna Freedman and Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar Moriba Jah received MacArthur Fellowships, often referred to as “genius grants.” 

" "
From left: Ben Bernanke, PhD ’79, Danna Freedman, and Moriba Jah

Freedman, a former MIT postdoc who joined the faculty in 2021, designs molecules that can function as quantum units, or qubits. One direction she hopes to pursue with her $800,000 grant is working with scientists from fields such as neurobiology or Earth sciences on quantum sensors, in which some particles are in such a delicately balanced state that they are affected by minuscule variations in their environment.

Jah, an associate professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin, is working on a joint research program to increase resources and visibility for space sustainability. He is also helping to host the AeroAstro Rising Stars symposium, which highlights academics from backgrounds underrepresented in aerospace engineering. 

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.