Jack Gilbert, a microbial ecologist and group leader in Argonne National Laboratory’s Biosciences division, has been named one of Popular Science‘s “Brilliant 10” for his environmental and biomedical-focused research as part of the magazine’s 14th annual awards list.
The Brilliant 10 are a group of 10 researchers under 40 who have made groundbreaking contributions to their fields. In order to arrive at the Brilliant 10, Popular Science combs through hundreds of nominations from around the country and vets the most promising candidates with experts working in those fields.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Jack, who is a leader in Argonne’s life science initiatives,” said Peter Littlewood, director of Argonne National Laboratory. “Jack’s work continues to transform our knowledge of the microbial diversity of our planet, which in turn could revolutionize what we know about the evolving health of all living things. His research is vital to Argonne’s ongoing efforts to understand how humans affect the world they live in, and vice versa.”
Gilbert’s work has pioneered several styles of collaborative research and interaction that have fostered significant advances in both environmental and biomedical research. He deals with research problems by engaging widely across research disciplines, working with architects, clinicians, psychologists, biochemists, climate researchers, government policy makers, and the public to provide groundbreaking research that defies typical boundaries.
Gilbert’s multidisciplinary background also enables him to blend fields to identify novel solutions to complex problems that impact the biomedical, agricultural, zoological, climatological, and environmental sciences. As a microbiologist and a prolific collaborator, he aims to elucidate microbial ecological mechanisms to target the development of translational tools to improve medicine, bioremediation, novel architectural and city planning design, and even fundamental science. Gilbert’s work has led to significant advances in our understanding of the longitudinal and spatial ecology of bacteria in many different ecosystems, including oceans, soils, humans, and even buildings.
“At Popular Science, we believe many of the world’s most challenging problems can be solved through brilliant science and engineering,” says Executive Editor Jennifer Bogo. “Our 10 honorees are at the bleeding edge of their fields — and are already well on their way to making the world a better, safer, smarter place.”
Gilbert earned his Ph.D. from Nottingham University, UK in 2002, and received his postdoctoral training in Canada at Queens University.
His work is funded and supported by the National Institutes of Health, The National Science Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Chicago Municipal Water Reclamation District, and various other entities.