Profiles of the four local ‘genius grant’ winners

Four Boston-area residents have been named 2012 MacArthur Fellows and recipients of the MacArthur Foundation’s annual $500,000 “genius grants.”

•Benoit Rolland, 58, has made bows for stringed instruments since 1971. For more than a decade he’s worked from his home studio in Watertown. Besides crafting bows out of Pernambuco wood, he has created high-quality bows out of non-wood composite materials.


•Junot Diaz, 43, is an author and the Rudge and Nancy Allen professor of writing at MIT. Diaz, a native of the Dominican Republic is best known for writing about the Caribbean diaspora and the transitions of Hispanics to life in the United States.

•Raj Chetty, 33, is a professor of economics at Harvard. Chetty is celebrated for studying the economy through a prism of government policy and exploring how government function and tax policy impact people’s spending and work habits.

•Benjamin Warf, 54, is a pediatric neurosurgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he is credited with developing groundbreaking surgical and treatment techniques for intra-cranial diseases in young children. He has a particular expertise in hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain.”

Follow James Burnett on Twitter: @JamesBurnett
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of