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Christopher Impey Appointed as HHMI Professor

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 06:45

AAS member Christopher Impey (University of Arizona) has been appointed as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) professor. This appointment includes a five-year grant of $1 million to support his research and educational activities.

A letter from the institute describes HHMI professors as "highly accomplished scientists who apply to science education the same creativity and rigor that made them successful in scientific research." Since the program's beginning in 2002, and including the 2014 cohort of 15 new HHMI professors, only 55 scientists have been recognized with this honor — and Chris Impey is the first astronomer.

Chris is a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona and deputy head of the Astronomy Department. His research interests include observational astronomy, quasars, and distant galaxies. He has written 160 research papers, two astronomy textbooks, six popular science books, and a novel. He has won 11 teaching awards, is a former Vice-President of the AAS, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

HHMI is a science philanthropy whose mission is to advance biomedical research and science education for the benefit of humanity. The institute empowers exceptional scientists and students to pursue fundamental questions about living systems. Headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, HHMI employs more than 3,000 individuals across the United States. In fiscal year 2013, HHMI invested $727 million in US research and provided $80 million in grants and other support for science education.

Crystal M. Tinch
Communications Manager
American Astronomical Society (AAS)