Anastasio received his first degree in physics from Johns Hopkins University, and went on to obtain his PhD in theoretical nuclear physics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1980 and worked in one of two divisions that design nuclear weapons. He was promoted to leader of the division and later became associate director for defence and nuclear technologies, in charge of the lab’s nuclear weapons programme.

Anastasio was appointed by the Board of Regents at the University of California, which manages the government lab. “I am honoured to accept this appointment,” says Anastasio. “As Livermore is among the nation’s top scientific institutions, we must continue to make an innovative contribution to advance national security and all areas of science and technology.”