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Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:00 am

Ariel Anbar, a professor at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, says he can trace his interest in science back to watching “Star Trek” as a child. “I was a science fiction fan as a kid and it has definitely played a role in my interest in science. My dad was a scientist as well,” he says. 

Also a professor in ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Anbar was recently named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor, the first in ASU’s history. The appointment includes a five-year, $1 million grant in recognition of Anbar’s research and teaching, which centers on the Earth’s past and future as a habitable planet. HHMI recognizes professors who are accomplished research scientists working to change undergraduate science education in the United States, according to an ASU press release. 

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