Chemist Aaron Puri Receives Simons Foundation Early Career Award


“I am honored to receive this award and excited to join the community of researchers supported by the Simons Foundation to answer fundamental questions about microbial ecology and evolution.” says Aaron Puri, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Henry Eyring Center for Cell and Genome Science and one of five awardees for 2024.
The Simons Foundation Early Career Investigator in Aquatic Microbial Ecology and Evolution Award recognizes outstanding researchers in the fields of microbial ecology, microbial biogeochemistry, and microbial evolution in marine or natural freshwater systems. Its purpose is to promote the careers of investigators who contribute to understanding these areas.

Puri joined the College of Science faculty in 2019 after working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical and Systems Biology from Stanford University in 2013, and his B.S. from the University of Chicago in 2008. Puri has also received the NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award and the NSF CAREER Award. 

“This award will enable our research group to work at the interface of biology and chemistry to decipher the molecular details of interactions in methane-oxidizing bacterial communities,” says Puri. His research aims to solve big problems with microscopic solutions. “These communities provide a biotic sink for the potent greenhouse gas methane, and are a useful system for understanding how bacteria interact with each other and their environment while performing critical ecosystem functions.” The Simons Award is an indicator that this is only the beginning of Puri’s research successes.


by Lauren Wigod