UO psychology professor named 2020 Sloan research fellow

UO neuroscientist Sarah DuBrow is among 126 early career researchers named by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as recipients of 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships.

DuBrow, who joined the Department of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience in January 2019, studies learning and memory. She is the 35th UO faculty member to be named a Sloan fellow since the program began in 1955.

The fellowships honor U.S. and Canadian scholars whose creativity, leadership and independent research achievements make them some of the most promising researchers in their fields, as recognized by the foundation. Each recipient receives a two-year, $75,000 fellowship to help advance the fellow’s research.

The fellowship, DuBrow said, will support the efforts of research assistants and graduate students in her lab, which focuses on how people learn the structure of their environment and use that structure to organize memories and guide decisions.

“I am interested in how we adapt to the constant change we encounter in the modern world,” she said. “Specifically, the fellowship will help us test the idea that our brains overemphasize the most stable features of our environment in order to provide a stable context on which to scaffold learning.”

DuBrow earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 2008 and a doctorate from New York University in 2015. Before joining the UO, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Computational Memory Lab at Princeton University.

Past Sloan Research Fellows have included physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann and game theorist John Nash. Fifty fellows later earned a Nobel Prize.

Candidates are nominated by their fellow scientists and winners are selected by independent panels of senior scholars. Nearly 1,000 researchers are nominated each year for 126 fellowship slots.