Dwek, an astrophysicist at NASA Goddard, will receive this award for his distinguished contributions to the theory of the evolution and nature of interstellar dust grains, including formation and destruction, emission and absorption of light, and unified models of observations.
Dwek has worked as an astrophysicist at Goddard since 1983. He received his doctorate in space physics and astronomy from Rice University in Houston, Texas. His thesis was "Nucleosynthesis of Light Elements in Young Supernova Remnants Surrounding Pulsars." He worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., from 1977-1979. He also served as a research fellow as a part of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park, from 1979-1981. He first came to Goddard as a National Research Council resident research associate with the National Academy of Sciences. Dwek was also a member of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) science team.Their discoveries of the shape and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background and the detection of the cosmic infrared background earned the team members the Peter Gruber Foundation's 2006 Cosmology Prize.