Maria Gatu Johnson in front of her poster

Recently elected Kavli Fellow Maria Gatu Johnson stands by the poster she presented at the Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposiium.

Photo: Paul Rivenberg

Maria Gatu-Johnson elected U.S. National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow


MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center Research Scientist Maria Gatu-Johnson has been elected a Kavli Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). As a new Fellow, she recently participated in NAS’ thirty-third annual Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium on March 2-4, 2023, which brings together distinguished young scientists to discuss exciting advances and opportunities in a broad range of disciplines.

U.S. symposium participants are selected from among recipients of prestigious fellowships, awards, and other honors, as well as from nominations by NAS members and other participants. In addition to learning about research at the frontiers of fields other than their own, the program is intended to create a network of connections that can be maintained as participants advance in their careers. 

“This symposium was a unique and inspiring experience,” says Gatu-Johnson. “Attending a conference involving such a breadth of topics - ranging from COVID impact on mental health to life on exoplanets via ecolocation and underwater robotics – was certainly very different from anything I have ever done before.”

Gatu-Johnson was recently honored by the U.S. Department of Energy, along with colleagues, for her role in supporting the National Ignition Facilities’ historic fusion-gain experiments.

Speaking of her experience at the symposium, Gatu-Johnson noted, “The most enjoyable aspect was meeting and interacting with a diverse set of energetic scientists from a broad range of disciplines. I felt honored to be part of this select group.”

The symposium is sponsored by the Kavli Foundation, founded by the late Fred Kavli to advance science and promote the understanding of scientific research.


Topics: Accelerators & detectors