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California home to four MacArthur Genius Grant winners

by Take Two

Artist/Photographer Uta Barth recipient of 2012 MacArthur Fellowship in the Arts photographed at her residence, studio and at her gallery, 1301 PE Gallery. Photographed on September 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Roman Cho

The MacArthur foundation has announced the 23 winners who will take home the Genius Grant with $500,000 in award money. The grants, paid over five years, give recipients freedom to pursue a creative vision and winners don't have to report how they spend the money.

Winners come from a wide range of categories from classical musicians to microbiologists, and out of the 23 winners, four of them call California home. One is just in our own backyard.

Uta Barth
Los Angeles, CA
Age: 54
Conceptual Photographer exploring the nature of vision and the difference between how we see reality and how a camera records it in evocative, abstract compositions that focus attention on the act of looking and the process of perception.

Elissa Hallem
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
Age: 34
Neurobiologist exploring the physiology and behavioral consequences of odor detection and chemoreception in invertebrates and identifying interventions that may eventually reduce the scourge of parasitic infections in humans.

Sarkis Mazmanian
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
Age: 39
Medical Microbiologist illuminating the complex interplay between microbes and the host immune system and the role certain bacteria may play in the development, or mitigation, of a broad range of human diseases.

Maurice Lim Miller
Family Independence Initiative
Oakland, CA
Age: 66
Social Services Innovator designing programs of mutual support and self-sufficiency that break the cycle of economic dependency for low-income families and build more resilient communities from the ground up.

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