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Chad Hagen


Innovators Under 35

Spoiler alert: Our annual Innovators Under 35 contest isn’t actually about what a small group of smart young people have been up to (although that’s certainly part of it). It’s really about where technology is headed next. As you read about what problems this year’s winners have set out to solve, you’ll also glimpse the near future of AI, biotech, materials, computing, and the fight against climate change. To connect the dots, we asked five experts—all judges or former winners—to write short essays about where they see the most promise, and the biggest potential roadblocks, in their respective fields. We hope the list inspires you and gives you a sense of what to expect in the years ahead.

AI and robotics concept

AI and Robots

AI’s progress isn’t the same as creating human intelligence in machines

biotech concept


Rewriting what we thought was possible in biotech

climate change concept

Climate Change

The world will need dozens of breakthrough climate technologies in the next decade

computing concept


Computers will be transformed by alternative materials and approaches—maybe sooner than you think

innovative materials concept

Materials Science

Materials with nanoscale components will change what’s possible

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Pieter Abbeel
Professor, UC Berkeley; Cofounder, Covariant; Podcast host, The Robot Brains

Animashree Anandkumar
Bren Professor, Caltech; Director of AI Research, Nvidia

David Berry
CEO, Valo Health; General Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Ed Boyden
Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology, MIT/HHMI

Meredith Broussard
Associate Professor, NYU

Yet-Ming Chiang
Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

James Collins
Termeer Professor, MIT

James Dahlman
Associate Professor, Georgia Tech and Emory School of Medicine

Cesar de la Fuente
Presidential Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Oren Etzioni
CEO, Allen Institute for AI; Professor Emeritus, Computer Science, University of Washington

Javier Garcia Martinez
Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Alicante, Spain; President, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Julia R. Greer
Mettler Professor of Materials, Mechanics, and Medical Engineering, Caltech

Zhen Gu
Qiushi Distinguished Chair, Professor, and Dean of School of Pharmacy, Zhejiang University

Rachel Haurwitz
President and CEO, Caribou Biosciences

Guosong Hong
Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Marc Lajoie
CEO, Outpace Bio

Hao Li
CEO and Cofounder, Pinscreen; Associate Professor, MBZUAI

Zlatko Minev
Quantum Physicist, IBM Quantum; Founder, Open Labs

Andrew Ng
Founder, DeepLearning.AI; CEO, Landing AI; General Partner, AI Fund

Nicole Paulk
Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco

Mariana Popescu
Assistant Professor, TU Delft

John Rogers
Simpson/Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University

Nabiha Saklayen
CEO and Cofounder, Cellino

Julian Schrittweiser
Senior Staff Researcher, DeepMind

Rachel Sheinbein
Venture Partner, Gratitude Railroad

Varun Sivaram
Senior Director for Clean Energy and Innovation, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Mona Sloane
Sociologist, New York University, University of Tübingen

Cyrus Wadia
Head of WW Product Sustainability, Amazon

Minmin Yen
CEO and Cofounder, PhagePro

Jackie Y. Ying
Director, NanoBio Lab; A*STAR Senior Fellow

Ben Zhao
Neubauer Professor of Computer Science, University of Chicago


Editing: Allison Arieff, Rachel Courtland, Tim Maher, Amy Nordrum, David Rotman
Art direction: Stephanie Arnett, Eric Mongeon, Vichhika Tep
Copy editing: Linda Lowenthal
Engagement: Juliet Beauchamp, Abby Ivory-Ganja
Illustration: Chad Hagen