The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. K. Heran Darwin to the foundation’s board. An inquisitive researcher and mentor, her work and life demonstrate her belief that scientists have a responsibility to engage in work that can be applied for the betterment of humanity.
“In addition to being a skilled scientist and a thoughtful researcher, Heran is a champion for diversity and equity in STEM. She has been advising on our prizes in the biomedical sciences for more than 10 years, and I look forward to her taking on this new role,” said Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel. “As a member of the board, Heran’s insights will enrich our prizes, programs. and operations.”
A Professor of Microbiology at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, Heran has dedicated her career to the study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of the human disease, tuberculosis (TB), the most deadly infectious disease in the world. The research she conducts with her laboratory at the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences at NYU has broad implications to better understand and combat infectious diseases and improve human health on a global scale.
Rick acknowledges the valuable role of leadership in confronting the challenges that 2020 presented to the Vilcek Foundation: “It is a testament to our board and staff that in the past calendar year we were able to pivot quickly from in-person operations to working remotely to accomplish our mission, finding new ways to celebrate and communicate the powerful impact of immigrants’ contributions to scientific discovery and to the arts, culture, and society.” The foundation celebrated the 20th anniversary of its establishment on December 1, 2020.
We look forward to the year ahead – marking our 21st year and the start of our third decade in operation – and warmly welcome K. Heran Darwin to the Vilcek Foundation Board.