Pew grants 22 young scientists support for biomedical research

June 24, 2014

Philadelphia--Twenty-two outstanding early-career researchers were named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The scholars--whose fields of study range from genetics to neuroscience to biophysics--will receive flexible funding to investigate some of the world's most pressing health problems. They join a community of more than 500 Pew scholars whose ranks include multiple recipients of Nobel Prizes, Lasker Awards, and MacArthur Fellowships.

"Pew has supported scientific innovation through its scholars program for 29 years. Time and again, this investment has fueled groundbreaking discoveries that hold the promise of better health for millions of people," said Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of Pew. "We are pleased to welcome the newest class of scholars to a community that continues to yield extraordinary findings in the field of bioscience."

Launched in 1985, Pew's scholars program supports top U.S. scientists at the assistant professor level. Scholars receive funding over four years to seed innovation at the start of their independent research careers.

Scholars are selected based on proven creativity by a national advisory committee composed of eminent scientists, including chairman Craig C. Mello, Ph.D., a 1995 Pew scholar and a 2006 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine.

"Scientific breakthroughs often come from seemingly unlikely origins, which is why it's so important to give young scientists the freedom and the support they need to pursue their most creative ideas," said Mello. "It is our privilege to help these outstanding investigators pursue new research paths and work with peers across disciplines in order to advance biomedical science and ultimately benefit human health."

In addition to the scholars program, Pew oversees the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences , which has provided young Latin American scientists with the opportunity to receive postdoctoral training in the United States since 1991. This year, Pew and the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust launched a new national initiative, The Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research.

The 2014 Pew biomedical scholars are:

Erik Andersen, Ph.D.
Northwestern University
Genetics and genomics

Maria Barna, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Developmental biology

Kevin Briggman, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health

Anne Churchland, Ph.D.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

James Fraser, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco

Jesse Gatlin, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming
Cell biology

Lindsey Glickfeld, Ph.D.
Duke University

Jesse Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Cornell University
Systems neuroscience

Catherine Grimes, Ph.D.
University of Delaware
Chemical biology

Chris Hittinger, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Evolutionary genomics

Robert Johnston, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Developmental neurobiology

Jeremy Kay, Ph.D.
Duke University
Neurobiology and vision

Brian Kelch, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Structural biology and biochemistry

Matthew Kennedy, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, School of Medicine

Gabriel Lander, Ph.D.
The Scripps Research Institute
Structural biology

Yunsun Nam, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Biochemistry, biophysics, and RNA biology

Sabine Petry, Ph.D.
Princeton University
Cell biology, biochemistry, and structural biology

Prashanth Rangan, Ph.D.
University at Albany, The State University of New York
Developmental genetics and biophysics

Michael Rust, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Systems biology

Mohammad Seyedsayamdost, Ph.D.
Princeton University
Chemical biology

Elçin Ünal, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Germ cell biology

Jing-Ke Weng, Ph.D.
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Chemical biology

For the scholars' full abstracts and more information about the program, please visit
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Learn more at

Pew Charitable Trusts

Related Genetics Articles from Brightsurf:

Human genetics: A look in the mirror
Genome Biology and Evolution's latest virtual issue highlights recent research published in the journal within the field of human genetics.

The genetics of blood: A global perspective
To better understand the properties of blood cells, an international team led by UdeM's Guillaume Lettre has been examining variations in the DNA of 746,667 people worldwide.

Turning to genetics to treat little hearts
Researchers makes a breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms of a common congenital heart disease.

New drugs more likely to be approved if backed up by genetics
A new drug candidate is more likely to be approved for use if it targets a gene known to be linked to the disease; a finding that can help pharmaceutical companies to focus their drug development efforts.

Mapping millet genetics
New DNA sequences will aid in the development of improved millet varieties

Genetics to feed the world
A study, published in Nature Genetics, demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology known as genomic selection in a wheat improvement program.

The genetics of cancer
A research team has identified a new circular RNA (ribonucleic acid) that increases tumor activity in soft tissue and connective tissue tumors.

New results on fungal genetics
An international team of researchers has found unusual genetic features in fungi of the order Trichosporonales.

Mouse genetics influences the microbiome more than environment
Genetics has a greater impact on the microbiome than maternal birth environment, at least in mice, according to a study published this week in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

New insights into genetics of fly longevity
Alexey Moskalev, Ph.D., Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Radiobiology and Gerontology Institute of Biology, and co-authors from the Institute of biology of Komi Science Center of RAS, Engelgard's Institute of molecular biology, involved in the study of the aging mechanisms and longevity of model animals announce the publication of a scientific article titled: 'The Neuronal Overexpression of Gclc in Drosophila melanogaster Induces Life Extension With Longevity-Associated Transcriptomic Changes in the Thorax' in Frontiers in Genetics - a leading open science platform.

Read More: Genetics News and Genetics Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to