"NOMIS is all about enabling outstanding talent to take on high-risk research."
- Georg Heinrich “Heini” Thyssen, NOMIS Founder

2023 NOMIS Distinguished Scientists

NOMIS Distinguished Scientist and Scholar Awards (NOMIS Awards) are presented to pioneering scientists and scholars who, through their innovative, groundbreaking research, have made a significant contribution to their respective fields and who inspire the world around them. Their bold ideas and unique approaches involve interdisciplinary collaboration and apply a broad range of methods, building bridges across the boundaries of disciplines. NOMIS Awards enable these exceptional, established scientists to continue exploring unconventional and uncharted research paths, thereby opening up new research fields and collaborations.

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David Autor is a 2023 NOMIS Awardee, Ford Professor of Economics and a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, US), as well as codirector of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Labor Studies Program and the MIT Shaping the Future of Work Initiative. He is leading the project Will New Technologies Complement or Commodify Expertise?

Born in the US, Autor earned a BA in psychology from Tufts University (Medford, US) and a PhD in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (Cambridge, US) in 1999. Prior to his graduate studies, he spent three years directing computer skills education for economically disadvantaged children and adults in San Francisco and South Africa.

Autor has received recognition for both his scholarship—through the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Sherwin Rosen Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of labor economics, the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2019, the Society for Progress Medal in 2021—and for his teaching, receiving the MIT MacVicar Faculty Fellowship. In 2020, Autor received the Heinz 25th Special Recognition Award from the Heinz Family Foundation for his work in “transforming our understanding of how globalization and technological change are impacting jobs and earning prospects for American workers.”

His scholarship explores the labor-market impacts of technological change and globalization on job polarization, skill demands, earnings levels and inequality, and electoral outcomes. In a 2019 article, The Economist labeled him as “the academic voice of the American worker.” Later that same year, and with equal justification, he was christened “twerpy MIT economist” by John Oliver of Last Week Tonight in a segment on automation and employment.

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Michele and Timothy Barakett Professor of Genetics

Anne Brunet is a 2023 NOMIS Awardee, the Michele and Timothy Barakett Professor of Genetics at Stanford Medicine and codirector of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Stanford University (US). She is leading the Organ Synchronization in Aging and Suspended Animation project.

Born in France, Brunet obtained her BSc from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and her PhD from the University of Nice. She did postdoctoral training with Michael Greenberg at Harvard Medical School in Boston, US. Brunet has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and reviews. She has received several awards, including the Pfizer/AFAR Innovation in Aging Research Award and the Vincent Cristofalo Rising Star Award in Aging Research. She received a Pioneer Award and a Transformative Award from the NIH Director’s fund, which supports scientists who propose pioneering and transforming approaches to major challenges in biomedical research. In 2022, together with Andrew Dillin, Brunet received the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences.

Brunet and her team are interested in the molecular mechanisms of aging and longevity. They have developed an original line of investigation to understand aging based on the integration of model organisms with diverse lifespans—worms, fish and mice. Using the Caenorhabditis elegans worm, the Brunet lab has identified pathways involved in delaying aging in response to external stimuli such as availability of nutrients and availability of the opposite sex. The Brunet lab made the exciting discoveries that lifespan extension can be regulated by chromatin modifiers and inherited in a transgenerational epigenetic manner. Her lab also uses mouse models to address complex questions about mammalian aging, notably mechanisms regulating neural stem cell aging. The Brunet lab has pioneered the naturally short-lived African killifish as a promising new model to identify principles underlying aging and suspended animation.