Dr. William B. Latter

Portrait Photo of William B. Latter

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Dr. William B. Latter (“Bill”) is the SPHEREx Program Scientist, Spitzer Program Scientist, Deputy GUSTO Program Scientist, Lead Program Officer for Laboratory Astrophysics, and Discipline Scientist for the Far-Infrared in the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. He is at NASA through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act from the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).

Latter earned his Ph.D. in Astronomy at the University of Arizona under the supervision of Prof. John H. Black. His dissertation had the title “Molecular Evolution in Astrophysical Environments.”

During his early career, Latter held a Jansky Fellowship at the National Radio astronomy Observatory, a postdoctoral fellowship to the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, and was a National Research Council Research Associate. His research interests include: Atomic and molecular processes in astrophysics; Chemical processes in rapidly evolving astrophysical systems; Early and late stages of stellar evolution including chemical processes in circumstellar envelopes of mass‑losing stars, and the mass‑loss process; Planetary nebula formation and chemistry.

Throughout his career, Latter has worked on NASA associated missions in various capacities. He has been the lead for an instrument support team for the Spitzer Space Telescope, Deputy Director of the NASA Herschel Science Center, and Associate Director for Science Mission Operations for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) prior to coming to NASA Headquarters.