The Hill Prizes Committee

Hill Prizes Header
The Hill Prizes, funded by Lyda Hill Philanthropies, recognize and advance top Texas innovators and researchers whose work could have significant impact on science and society. The prizes propel high-risk, high-reward ideas and innovations that demonstrate very significant potential for real-world impact and can lead to new, paradigm-shifting paths in research.

The Hill Prizes have six categories: Medicine, Public Health, Engineering, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Technology. The Medicine, Public Health, Engineering, Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences prizes will be given to researchers at academic and medical institutions. The Hill Prize in Technology will be given to individuals in the private sector in applied sciences and engineering.

After an incredibly successful first year of the prizes, Lyda Hill Philanthropies has committed over $10 million in funding to continue the prize program for the next three years. The $10 million will include the addition of a new prize in the category of Public Health, resulting in six prizes per year of $500,000 each. In addition, at least $1 million in discretionary research funding will be allocated by Lyda Hill Philanthropies on an ad hoc basis to highly ranked applicants and finalists not selected as recipients.

Each prize recipient’s institution or organization will receive $500,000 in direct funding from Lyda Hill Philanthropies to accelerate their work. Prize recipients will be announced in January 2025 and recognized on February 4, 2025, at the opening reception of the TAMEST 2025 Annual Conference in Irving, Texas.

The goal of the prizes is to recognize exceptional innovators and provide seed funding to advance innovative science and highlight Texas as a premier destination for world-class research. The prizes will bridge the path from research to business development and further innovations that need additional funding to have a greater impact. The Hill Prizes will also put recipients in a stronger position to receive more research funding and seek large-scale grants and collaborations.

Hill Prizes Committee Members

David E. Daniel, Ph.D. (NAE)
Hill Prizes Committee Chair
President Emeritus, The University of Texas at Dallas
Past President, TAMEST


Malcolm K. Brenner, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM)
Subcommittee Chair
Professor, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy
Baylor College of Medicine

Gerard E. Francisco, M.D. (NAM)
The Wulfe Family Chair in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

George A. Macones, M.D. (NAM)
Executive Vice Dean, Dell Medical School
Chair and Professor, Department of Women’s Health
The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School

Catherine Y. Spong, M.D. (NAM)
Paul C. MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Public Health

Ellen R. Gritz, Ph.D. (NAM)
Subcommittee Chair
Emerita Professor and (Former) Chair, Department of Behavioral Science
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Carlos Roberto Jaén, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM)
Professor and Chair, Department of Family & Community Medicine
UT Health San Antonio

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM)
Matthew P. Nemeroff Endowed Chair, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School

William M. Sage, M.D., J.D. (NAM)
Founding Director, Institute for Healthcare Access
Professor of Law
Professor of Medicine, Department of Translational Medical Sciences
Texas A&M University


Linda Katehi, Ph.D. (NAE)
Subcommittee Chair
Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering
O’Donnell Foundation Chair II
Texas A&M University

David T. Allen, Ph.D. (NAE)
Professor, Norbert Dittrich-Welch Chair in Chemical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

John L. Junkins, Ph.D. (NAE)
Director, Hagler Institute for Advanced Study; Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering
Texas A&M University

Lydia E. Kavraki, Ph.D. (NAM)
Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Bioengineering, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Rice University

Biological Sciences

David W. Russell, Ph.D. (NAS)
Subcommittee Chair
Professor Emeritus
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Richard A. Dixon D. Phil, D.Sc. (NAS, FRS)
Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus
University of North Texas

Guillermina “Gigi” Lozano, Ph.D. (NAM, NAS)
Department of Genetics, Division of VP, Research
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D. (NAM, NAS)
Professor, Molecular and Human Genetics
HHMI Investigator
Baylor College of Medicine

Physical Sciences

William H. Press, Ph.D. (NAS)
Subcommittee Chair
Leslie Surginer Endowed Professorship
Warren J. and Viola Mae Raymer Chair
The University of Texas at Austin

Paul C.W. Chu, Ph.D. (NAS)
Professor of Physics; T.L.L. Temple Chair of Science; Founding Director and Chief Scientist, Texas Center for Superconductivity
University of Houston

David R. Nygren, Ph.D. (NAS)
Professor, Physics
The University of Texas at Arlington

Peter G. Wolynes, Ph.D. (NAS)
Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Rice University


Joseph B. Powell, Ph.D. (NAE)
Subcommittee Chair
Aspire Shell Endowed Chair and Executive Director for Energy Transition
Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Houston

Lynda Chin, M.D. (NAM)
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Apricity Health

Bob Metcalfe, Ph.D. (NAE)
Retired Professor
Professor of Innovation, Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise
The University of Texas at Austin

James J. Truchard, Ph.D. (NAE)
National Instruments


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