Pew Awards 22 Promising Biomedical Researchers Funding to Advance Human Health

Thursday, June 15, 2017 Research News
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PHILADELPHIA, June 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, The Pew Charitable Trusts announced 22 exceptional early-career

researchers as Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences. Each scholar will receive four years of flexible funding to pursue foundational research.

"Pew is proud to support these investigators as they use novel approaches to illuminate the mechanisms

of human biology and disease," said Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts. "This impressive group has demonstrated the curiosity and courage that drive great scientific advances, and we are excited to help them fulfill their potential."

The 2017 scholars—all of whom hold assistant professor positions—join a thriving community of more than 900 biomedical scientists who have received awards from Pew since 1985. Each year, current scholars come together to discuss their research and learn from peers in fields outside of their own.

"Innovation is critical for scientists trying to crack some of the toughest questions in human health," said Craig C. Mello, Ph.D., a 1995 Pew scholar, 2006 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, and chair of the national advisory committee for the scholars program. "Pew's biomedical programs not only provide young scientists with the flexibility to pursue creative ideas; they also spark interdisciplinary thinking and collaborations that can open new paths in the search for answers."

The scholars are chosen from nominations made by some 180 leading academic and research institutions. This year's class includes scientists using cutting-edge techniques to study the factors controlling gene expression, the behavior of our brains' neurons, and communication among the various bacteria in our bodies. Better understanding of such fundamental processes will lay important groundwork for potential treatments of neurological disorders, kidney disease, and other illnesses.

Five members of the 2017 class of scholars will receive awards with support from the Kathryn W. Davis Peace by Pieces Fund. They were selected for their commitment to investigating health challenges in the brain as it ages.

The 2017 Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences are:

Mohamed S. Abou Donia, Ph.D.Princeton UniversityChemical Biology

José L. Avalos, Ph.D.Princeton UniversitySystems Biology

Eiman Azim, Ph.D.Salk Institute for Biological StudiesNeuroscience

Erhu Cao, Ph.D.University of UtahBiochemistry

Ibrahim Cissé, Ph.D.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyBiophysics

Michael A. Crickmore, Ph.D.Boston Children's HospitalNeuroscience

Rachel J. Dutton, Ph.D.University of California, San DiegoMicrobiology

Michael M. Halassa, M.D., Ph.D.New York UniversityNeuroscience

Jorge Henao-Mejia, M.D., Ph.D.Children's Hospital of PhiladelphiaImmunology

Ya-Chieh Hsu, Ph.D.Harvard UniversityStem Cell Biology

Gene-Wei Li, Ph.D.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCell Biology

Anna Victoria R. Molofsky, M.D., Ph.D.University of California, San FranciscoNeuroscience

Shaeri Mukherjee, Ph.D.University of California, San FranciscoMicrobiology and Immunology

Alan C. Mullen, M.D., Ph.D.Massachusetts General HospitalCell Biology; Molecular Biology

Carolyn M. Phillips, Ph.D.University of Southern CaliforniaMolecular Biology

Kaoru Saijo, M.D., Ph.D.University of California, BerkeleyImmunology

Robert Spitale, Ph.D.University of California, IrvineChemical Biology

David Veesler, Ph.D.University of WashingtonVirology

Elizabeth Villa, Ph.D.University of California, San DiegoBiophysics

Bin Wu, Ph.D.Johns Hopkins UniversityBiophysics

Naoki Yamanaka, Ph.D.University of California, RiversideEndocrinology

Nilay Yapici, Ph.D.Cornell UniversityNeuroscience

Visit the program page to read the scholars' full abstracts and learn more about the program.

The 2017 classes of Pew-Stewart scholars for cancer research and Pew Latin American fellows were also announced today.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Learn more at

Matt Mulkey, 202-862-9864,


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts

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