The Western Institute for Advanced Study was founded in 2018, on the same principles as the original Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and similar institutions around the world. The purpose of this organization is to conduct exploratory scientific research.

The Institute is devoted to supporting efforts to solve historically-intractable problems in mathematics, physics, and the biological sciences, with a highly interdisciplinary and open atmosphere to promote intellectual progress. A new Grand Challenge is issued each year, and researchers work intensively as a group to address that single problem. Together, we aim to make progress on some of the most technically challenging questions which continue to face humanity.


The Western Institute for Advanced Study was founded to advance theoretical scientific research, by combining both outstanding individual effort and a team-based approach. The Institute was founded in 2018 and is based in Colorado.

  • To provide a place for advanced study with a commitment to the highest standards of academic scholarship.

  • To offer a competitive fellowship program, with a focus on solving grand challenges in mathematics, physics, and the biological sciences.


By addressing a broad range of challenging scientific questions and communicating these findings to the public, we aim to create progress on some of the most technically challenging issues which continue to face humanity.

Western Institute for Advanced Study – Board of Directors

Executive Director - Izi Stoll, Ph.D. earned her doctorate in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington in Seattle, after receiving bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. With over twenty years of experience in hands-on neuroscience research, and a practice of combining theoretical and experimental techniques, Dr Stoll excels at systematic, interdisciplinary problem-solving. From 2013-2017, she led a talented group of scientists at Newcastle University to discover new therapeutic interventions for neurological disease and to develop a platform for the design, manufacture, and validation of gene therapies with applications in clinical neuroscience. Her research garnered awards from the Society for Neuro Oncology and The American Federation for Aging Research, and was supported by funding from the Wellcome Trust. In 2017, after the Brexit referendum passed, she returned to the United States, founding the Western Institute for Advanced Study as a place to support theoretical research objectives. Dr Stoll is keen to establish a strong foundation for the Western Institute and an interdisciplinary fellowship research program.

Director of Medicine - Amy Farrar, M.D. earned her undergraduate degree and her medical degree at the University of Washington, then completed her Family Medicine residency at Group Health Cooperative (now Kaiser Permanente Washington). She has worked as a Clinical Faculty Member at the University of Washington and an attending primary care physician in the UW Neighborhood Clinics, and now practices family medicine with Kaiser Permanente Washington. Passionate about healthcare issues in her own community and worldwide, Dr Farrar has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua and as a caregiver with Volunteers of America.

Director of Computation - Philip Tilker, M.S. earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He began working for Amazon in 2005 and he continues to work as a Senior Software Engineer with Amazon Logistics. An avid curler, Tilker has played for the US Mens’ National Team. He is a three-time Men’s National Champion and a three-time Mixed National Champion.