Kwanghun (KC) Chung, investigator of neuroscience at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, core faculty of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and an assistant professor in the MIT departments of Chemical Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, is one of 18 individuals chosen to receive a 2015 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering.

Every year, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation invites 50 universities to nominate early-career professors from their institutions for the five-year $875,000 grants, which give emerging young scientists and engineers the freedom to take risks, pursue innovative ideas, and creatively explore new frontiers.

The Packard Foundation established the fellowships in 1988 to allow the nation’s most promising professors to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions and limited reporting requirements. According to the foundation’s website, the fellowship “arose out of David Packard’s commitment to strengthening university-based science and engineering programs in recognition that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he cofounded, derived in large measure from the research and development in university laboratories.” Since 1988, the foundation has awarded $362 million to support 541 scientists and engineers from 52 top national universities.

Chung’s research focuses on developing and applying novel technologies for holistic understanding of large-scale complex biological systems. His lab explores methods that enable identification of functional networks at multiple scales and interrogation of their system-wide interactions. His group is currently applying these technologies for studying brain function and dysfunction.