MIT Professor Nuh Gedik Recognized with 2024 National Brown Investigator Award

Nuh Gedik, MIT’s Donner Professor of Physics, has been named a 2024 Ross Brown Investigator by the Brown Institute for Basic Sciences at Caltech.

One of eight awarded mid-career faculty working on fundamental challenges in the physical sciences, Gedik will receive up to $2 million over five years.

Gedik will use the award to develop a new kind of microscopy that images electrons photo-emitted from a surface while also measuring their energy and momentum. This microscope will make femtosecond movies of electrons to study the fascinating properties of two-dimensional quantum materials.

Another awardee, professor of physics Andrea Young at the University of California Santa Barbara, was a 2011-14 Pappalardo Fellow at MIT in experimental condensed matter physics.

The Brown Institute for Basic Sciences at Caltech was established in 2023 through a $400-million gift from entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Caltech alumnus Ross M. Brown, to support fundamental research in chemistry and physics. Initially created as the Investigator Awards in 2020, the award supports the belief that “scientific discovery is a driving force in the improvement of the human condition,” according to a news release from the Science Philanthropy Alliance.

A total of 13 investigators were recognized in the program’s first three years. Now that the Brown Investigator Award has found a long-term home at Caltech, the intent is to recognize a minimum of eight investigators each year.

Other previous awardees with MIT connections include MIT professor of chemistry Mircea Dincă as well as physics alumni Waseem S. Bakr ’05, ’06, MNG ’06 of Princeton University; David Hsieh of Caltech, who is another former Pappalardo Fellow; Munira Khalil PhD ’04 and Mark Rudner PhD ’08 of the University of Washington; and Tanya Zelevinsky ’99 of Columbia University.