Mark D. Messier earned his B.S. in physics from MIT in 1993 and his Ph.D. in physics from Boston University in 1999. In 2017, he was appointed the Rudy Professor of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University (IU) Bloomington.
His research focuses on the measurement of fundamental particles called neutrinos, which are central to several questions in particle physics and cosmology. Messier launched his career studying neutrinos with the Super-Kamiokande experiment in Japan; work for the experiment was cited in the award for the 2015 Nobel Prize. Messier then turned his attention to the capabilities of the particle accelerators at the Fermi National Laboratory outside of Chicago to study neutrinos. He has led the development of new technologies for neutrino detection. He is a founding member of the 200-person NOvA experiment and led the experiment for 12 years during the proposal, construction, and data taking. He is currently a member of the DUNE experiment, which will make definitive measurements of differences between matter and antimatter neutrinos.
As a dedicated educator, he has lectured on principles of neutrino detection at summer schools around the world and participated in multiple panels on career development and equity and diversity issues in physics. Messier is a recipient of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and is an elected fellow of the American Physical Society. He is a frequent panelist and consultant for the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy and has served on several international panel charges with planning the global neutrino research program.
Messier received the IU Bicentennial Medal in September 2020 in recognition of his distinguished contributions to Indiana University.