HHMI To Award $15 Million In Grants To Support Biomedical Scientists In The Baltics, Central And Eastern Europe And The Former Soviet Union

April 29, 1999

CHEVY CHASE, Md., April 29, 1999– The Howard Hughes Medical Institute will award $15 million in new grants to support the research of biomedical scientists in the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The five-year initiative will provide much-needed support in a region where biomedical researchers have struggled with limited resources in recent years. It follows a previous round of five-year grants totaling $15 million that HHMI awarded in 1995 to support the research of 90 scientists in 10 countries. Scientists from those countries — Belarus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine — are also eligible to take part in the new competition. Two new countries, Bulgaria and Romania, have been added to the list.

The latest grants will bring to $68 million the amount that HHMI has awarded since 1991 through its international program, which complements the Institute's primary mission of carrying out biomedical research with its own scientists within the United States. The Institute's other International Research Scholars are currently located in Canada and Latin America.

"Biomedical scientists in this part of the world are carrying out research that serves people everywhere by elucidating the biological mechanisms that underlie heart disease, cancer and other diseases," said Purnell W. Choppin, HHMI's president. "We've held annual meetings with these researchers and have been very impressed by their dedication to science, even in places where working conditions are difficult."

The new grants will range from $40,000 to $90,000 annually. Applicants must hold full-time appointments at nonprofit scientific institutions in eligible countries, have made significant contributions to biomedical research, be in the early stages of their careers, and have significant publications in international English-language, peer-reviewed scientific journals.

HHMI will carry out the grant competition via the Web. Applications are due November 1999. Following an external review process, HHMI's staff will make recommendations to the Institute's Trustees, who are expected to make the awards in November 2000. Additional information is available at: www.hhmi.org/grants/international.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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