HHMI awards $19 million to Latin American, Canadian scientists

November 01, 2006

Thirty-nine outstanding scientists in Latin America and Canada have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholars. Each will receive a five-year award totaling nearly $500,000.

The competitive awards recognize the accomplishments and promise of biomedical researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. They also help build the research capacity of countries that have a strong tradition of science but insufficient resources to adequately support world-class research, by supporting scientific leaders and strengthening their research institutions.

"This is the 15th anniversary of HHMI's international program, which began in 1991 with awards to outstanding scientists in our closest neighboring countries, Mexico and Canada," said Thomas R. Cech, president of the Institute. "The program has grown five-fold and now supports outstanding researchers in 28 countries, including Canada and five Latin American nations. The research these scientists are doing compares favorably to the research conducted by accomplished investigators in the United States."

The new HHMI international research scholars were chosen from 546 applicants from eight countries. Twenty-one of those selected have received previous international research scholar awards from the Institute.

"These scientists are recognized pacesetters in their fields," noted Peter J. Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. For example: HHMI launched its international research scholar program in 1991 to recognize the international scope of modern biomedical research and to support outstanding scientists in their own countries, linking them with each other and with HHMI investigators and professors in the United States to create an international network of outstanding scientists. Since then, the Institute has awarded more than $100 million in grants to scientists in 32 countries. The new awards are HHMI's fourth round to scientists in Canada and Latin America.

In addition to Latin American and Canadian researchers, HHMI supports scientists in Eastern and Central Europe, Russia, and the Baltics, as well as parasitology and infectious disease researchers globally.

Part of the grant to each HHMI international research scholar supports shared resources at the researcher's home institution. "One of our goals is to enrich the scientific environment of these scientists' institutions and countries," Bruns explained.

The new international research scholars are:
Argentina * Indicates a previous HHMI international research scholar award.
-end-


Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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