MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics

Pappalardo Fellowships Program Founder: A. Neil Pappalardo (EE '64)

The mission of the MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics is to sustain a distinguished postdoctoral program that identifies, recruits and supports the most talented and promising young physicists at an early stage in their careers. This initiative was made possible by the encouragement and generosity of Mr. A. Neil Pappalardo (EE '64), an MIT alumnus with a long history of generosity to both the Institute and the Department of Physics.

Jane and Neil Pappalardo
Jane and Neil Pappalardo

A. Neil Pappalardo, received his SB in 1964 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in physics and electrical engineering. Thereafter, he crossed the Charles River to work at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he pursued his interest in clinical computing; his specialty was computer programming languages.

By the end of 1968 he was back in East Cambridge, founding Medical Information Technology (Meditech), one of the earliest software companies. As Founder and Chairman, he guided Meditech to become a leading supplier of information system software for hospitals in the U.S. and other English‑speaking countries worldwide.

While leading the company, Neil continues to evolve Meditech’s programming language but also spends much of his time in product development. His current effort is focused on developing an innovative clinical management system that guides clinicians through a high‑quality yet low‑cost treatment process. It also empowers the patient to be an active participant in the process.

Neil is now a Life Member Emeritus of the MIT Corporation. Previously he was a long‑term member of the MIT Executive, Audit and Salary Committees, but continues serving on four Visiting Committees, including Physics. For the Physics department, he has helped fund the construction of a world‑class optical telescope observatory on a Chilean mountaintop, provided the funds to initiate and sustain a program for Physics postdoctoral scholars (the Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics), and helped fund the renovation of a new building for the Department (the Green Center for Physics). Neil has also funded multiple initiatives for the Mechanical Engineering department and provided support for MIT’s academic media production outreach.

Neil has received honorary degrees from Suffolk University and the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology [KAIST]. The International Astronomical Union named an asteroid in his honor and in 2008 Neil received the Order of Science and Technology Medal from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea. In 2010, the Pappalardo Medical Center was dedicated in his honor at KAIST.

Neil and his wife Jane live in downtown Boston. Jane is an alumna of Boston University’s School of Music, where she majored in classical piano performance. She is an active supporter of multiple Boston‑area cultural institutions, including MIT’s Council for the Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy (as a Board Member), and as a Trustee of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Museum of Science. Jane and Neil have four children and 13 grandchildren.