Komeili, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, is being honored for his work in elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind the formation of nanometer-sized magnetite crystals within the magnetosome organelles of magnetotactic bacteria.
The Fellowship Program was established in 1988 and arose out of David Packard's commitment to strengthening university-based science and engineering programs. By supporting unusually creative researchers early in their careers, the Foundation hopes to develop scientific leaders, further the work of promising young scientists and engineers, and support efforts to attract talented graduate students into university research in the United States.
Over the past nineteen years, the Fellowship Program has awarded 404 fellowships, totaling over $232 million to fund research in a broad range of disciplines that includes physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. It is among the nation's largest nongovernmental program designed to seek out and reward the pursuit of scientific discovery with "no strings attached" support.
The 2007 Fellows were nominated by presidents of 50 universities that participate in the Fellowship program. The 100 nominations were reviewed by the Fellowship Advisory Panel, a group of nationally recognized scientists, which then recommended 20 Fellows for approval by the Packard Foundation Board of Trustees.