Carlos D. Bustamante, a professor of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, is one of just 23 recipients nationwide of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.” Bustamante is a population biologist who mines DNA sequence data for insights into the dynamics and migration of populations and the mechanisms of evolution and natural selection. He will receive $500,000, paid quarterly over the course of five years, with no strings attached.

When asked what he planned to do with the money, Bustamante said, “I might get to take an extra afternoon of sailing or something like that which I love to do so I might indulge a little in that, but I really hope to use the money to really further the science and take on the projects that we haven’t been able to do so far.”

There are no applications for the MacArthur Foundation fellowship, which is awarded annually in a broad selection of disciplines. People are nominated anonymously, and most winners only find out that they were nominated when they receive the phone call announcing that they’ve won.

Bustamante himself had no idea that he was in the running. “I flipped over my chair,” he said about the moment he received the notification. “ I couldn’t believe they were calling.”
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Read More at the MacArthur Foundation website.