January 2024 - A Year of Discovery

Jan. 23, 2024

Happy 2024! We're looking forward to an exciting year of research, discovery, and innovation at Princeton University.

This issue of the Capital Connector features the recently announced partnership with the state of New Jersey to establish a new AI hub that will enhance the regional innovation ecosystem, President Eisgruber's 2024 State of the University letter, and research discoveries that will expand the limits of human knowledge intended to benefit society.

New Jersey and Princeton to create an AI hub

Tim Sullivan, Jennifer Rexford, President Christopher Eisgruber, Governor Phil Murphy, Beth Noveck

Governor Murphy and Princeton announce plans to establish an artificial intelligence hub in New Jersey

On December 18th, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy joined University President Christopher L. Eisgruber to announce plans to create an artificial intelligence innovation hub for the state, in collaboration with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “With today’s announcement, New Jersey — alongside Princeton University — is poised to shape the future of this revolutionary field and unleash a new century of game-changing discovery,” Murphy said, describing the planned AI hub as “a new home for the world’s boldest and brightest to pioneer breakthroughs for the betterment of humankind.” Learn more about the announcement here.


State of the University 2024

Tiger sculpture

President’s Annual “State of the University” Letter 2024: Excellence, Inclusivity, and Free Speech

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber on Thursday, Jan. 18, sent his annual State of the University letter to faculty, students and staff, calling Princeton “stronger than ever” and urging all Princetonians to serve as ambassadors for the University and for the value of higher education in America.” Learn more about the State of the University here.


Discovery: Research at Princeton

Discovery Magazine cover

Discovery: Research at Princeton

Big questions — how our universe formed, who we are as humans, what we’ve learned from our history — are some of the broad issues covered in this year’s Discovery: Research at Princeton magazine. New Dean for Research, Peter Schiffer, says, "If there is a theme that unites the stories in this issue, it is exploration."

Below are some featured articles about research at Princeton. Read the entire "Discovery" publication here.



Arvind Narayanan

AI hope versus hype: dispelling the myths around artificial intelligence

If you're starting to deploy artificial intelligence in your everyday life, how can you be sure that the tools you’re using are trustworthy? Arvind Narayanan, Princeton’s in-house AI expert and one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in AI, sheds light on the capabilities and pitfalls of artificial intelligence. Read the full article here.



John F. Brooks II

Like clockwork: How circadian rhythms govern the body's defenses against disease

We like to think that our immune system protects us 24/7, but it turns out that the likelihood of contracting some infections varies based on the time of day. John F. Brooks II, assistant professor of molecular biology, is trying to understand how our immune abilities fluctuate throughout the day — and how that knowledge can be used to protect people’s health. Read about the circadian rhythms research here.



Elizabeth Margulis

They're playing our song: building bridges between music, imagination and memory

Elizabeth Margulis, professor of music, and her group in Princeton’s Music Cognition Lab use music as a tool to study human creativity and memory, and their findings are helping to explain the similarities and differences in what we daydream about while we listen to music. Understanding how music cues imagination and memory could open paths to treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well as inform other currently used applications of music therapy. Read about the music and neuroscience research here.


Chicken lung tissue

Patterns of Life: We have much to learn from the lungs of other species

Celeste Nelson, the Wilke Family Professor in Bioengineering at Princeton, and her research team found that members of the animal kingdom have efficient designs for building lungs that can change the way we approach human tissue engineering.These variations in lung development across species may inspire new ways of constructing human lung tissue outside the body,which could be used to treat people suffering from chronic lung diseases. Read about the lung research here.


Professor Zelizer

Faculty Honors

This issue of Discovery features a selection of honors and awards presented to Princeton faculty members and their teams in 2023. Learn more about faulty honored for their contributions to social science, humanities, the arts, engineering and physical sciences here.




Graphic showing research expenditures

A Total of $459M in Research Spending in FY 2023

Over the past 10 years, research activities have expanded dramatically. Funding for research comes from both external and internal sources. External sources include federal agencies, foundations, industry and other funders. internal sources of research funding include donors and the Princeton University endowment. The University allocates internal funds to research projects and infrastructure across the sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities. This page provides information about external sources of research funding. Go to pages 46 and 47 of Discovery Magazine here.