The MacArthur Foundation honored Damien Fair as one of its 2020 Fellows for his brilliant work in neuroscience using innovative mapping techniques to understand the brain and how it develops.
The MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recognized Damien Fair for unlocking the mysteries of brain development with his creative use of MRIs. Working with stroke patients in the neurology department at Yale New Haven Hospital inspired Fair to get a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis. He came to the University of Minnesota in 2020 to be the Redleaf Endowed Director of the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain. Fair uses mathematical models and his unique brain mapping of resting MRIs to track the biological mechanisms behind diagnoses like autism and ADHD. The institute is slated to open in the fall of 2021, focusing on early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cognitive conditions from infancy through adolescence. Fair also advances medicine by challenging the ways marginalized colleagues and communities are systematically excluded from STEM. He started at home by pledging to invest his $625,000 MacArthur grant into his wife's work. Dr. Rahel Nardos is a urogynecologist specializing in postpartum care and surgical reconstruction after childbirth. His creative and comprehensive study of brain development from birth and intergenerational factors seeks to advance medical treatment as much as how our social structures can best serve those who need them most.