Juan Martín Maldacena is an Argentine-American theoretical physicist and a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study’s School of Natural Sciences in Princeton, New Jersey.

Among his many discoveries, the most famous one is the most reliable realization of the holographic principle - namely the AdS/CFT correspondence, the conjecture about the equivalence of string theory on Anti de Sitter (AdS) space, and a conformal field theory defined on the boundary of the AdS space. Maldacena’s work focuses on quantum gravity, string theory, and quantum field theory. He has proposed a relationship between quantum gravity and quantum field theories that elucidates various aspects of both theories. He is studying this relationship further in order to understand the deep connection between black holes and quantum field theories, and he is also exploring the connection between string theory and cosmology.

Maldacena obtained his licenciatura (a 6-year degree) in at the Instituto Balseiro, Bariloche, Argentina, under the supervision of G. Aldazábal. He then obtained his PhD at Princeton University under the supervision of Curtis Callan and went on to a post-doctoral position at Rutgers University. In 1997, he joined Harvard University as associate professor, being quickly promoted to Professor of Physics in 1999. Since 2001 he has been a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Maldacena has received several awards, including the Edward A. Bouchet Award of the American Physical Society, the Xanthopoulos International Award for Research in Gravitational Physics, the Sackler Prize in Physics, the UNESCO Husein Prize for Young Scientists, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Dannie Heineman Prize, the Dirac Medal, and the Fundamental Physics Prize (Yuri Milner Prize), which is presented to physicists involved in fundamental research.