Weinberg Institute 

Katherine Freese professional headshot

Katherine Freese, Director

Katherine Freese is the Jeff and Gail Kodosky Endowed Chair in Physics and a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin. 

She is known for her work on a wide range of topics in theoretical cosmology and astroparticle physics. She has been working to identify the dark matter and dark energy that permeate the universe as well as to build a successful model for the early universe immediately after the Big Bang. She is author of a book The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter, published in June 2014 by Princeton University Press.

She was awarded the 2019 Lilienfeld Prize  from the American Physical Society “for ground-breaking research at the interface of cosmology and particle physics, and her tireless efforts to communicate the excitement of physics to the general public.” In 2020, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Affiliated Center Directors

The Center for Gravitational Physics

Professional headshot of Deirdre Shoemaker

Deirdre Shoemaker, Director

Deirdre Shoemaker is a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests center on black holes and gravitational waves, understanding these and other aspects of strong gravity and how it reveals itself in the universe. She has won the NSF CAREER award, is a fellow of the American Physical Society and is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the Cosmic Explorer Consortium and the LISA Consortium where she co-chairs the Waveform Working Group.


Theory Group

Professional headshot of willy fischler

Willy Fischler, Director

Willy Fischler is the Jane and Roland Blumberg Centennial Professor of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include quantum field theory, supersymmetry, string theory, quantum cosmology and statistical mechanics. Fischler is one of the co-fathers of matrix theory and one of the initial researchers to propose the invisible axion as a dark matter candidate and a solution to the strong CP problem. He is also the coauthor of the holographic bound in cosmology.


Texas Center for Cosmology & Astroparticle Physics

Katherine Freese, Director 

Dr. Freese, director of the Weinberg Institute, is also director of the Texas Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.