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Duke professor wins $625,000 MacArthur 'Genius' Grant

<p>Courtesy of Duke Today</p>

Courtesy of Duke Today

Duke professor Jenny Tung, Trinity '03 and Ph.D. '10, is set to receive $625,000 after winning a 2019 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Tung, an associate professor in evolutionary anthropology, studies primates and has demonstrated links between social stress and immune system function in macaques. She is one of 26 winners of the prestigious Genius Grant in 2019, and the $625,000 will be paid over quarterly installments for the next five years.

However, Tung hasn't decided yet on what she plans to do with the new windfall.

“I don’t know yet. I feel an obligation to try to live up to how MacArthur sees these fellowships: as an impetus to creativity. So I’m trying to figure out what I can do to fulfill that mission,” she said in a news release. “I’m very humbled and very grateful that there are people in my community who value the work my collaborators, lab and I have been doing.”  

President Vincent Price commended Tung for the new award, which follows her Sloan Fellowship in 2016 and naming to the "Ten Scientists to Watch List" by Science News in 2018.

“Dr. Tung is most deserving of this great honor, with her many contributions to evolutionary anthropology over the past decade and the many more she is sure to make in the years to come,” Price said in the release. “We are so very proud she is conducting this work at Duke.” 

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