Palo Alto, CA—Carnegie Research Associate and incoming Stanford University graduate student William Dwyer was selected this month for the 2023 cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars—who are chosen for demonstrating “independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset.”
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is a multidisciplinary, multicultural graduate scholarship at Stanford. The awardees receive up to three years of financial support and engage in experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders and to address complex challenges facing the world.
“In a world that continues to grow more complex, Knight-Hennessy scholars are building the knowledge, skills, and community needed to address our biggest challenges,” said John L. Hennessy, Stanford president emeritus and the Shriram Family Director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. “I believe these scholars will help build a better future for all of us.”
After completing a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Dwyer joined Carnegie plant biologist Sue Rhee’s lab, where he contributed to research aimed at uncovering the molecular strategies plants use to sense and respond to their surroundings and at improving the performance of algorithms for predicting the functions of genes. Last year, he published an essay in Trends in Plant Science, arguing for the importance of anti-colonial language as Western scientists develop an interest in regional crops that have been cultivated for generations by local farmers around the world.
At Stanford, Dwyer plans to study unique plant metabolic functions that drive resilience in the face of harsh environmental conditions, which can be deployed to buffer agricultural systems against climate change.
“Congratulations to Will on this recognition of an ambitious and exciting start to his career,” said Biosphere Sciences and Engineering Deputy Directory Stephanie Hampton. “He has already accomplished an impressive amount of research and this program will enable him to develop his leadership skills as he advances his studies.”