Fifteen of America's Most Gifted Scientists Earn Recognition as 2004 Pew Biomedical Scholars

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Philadelphia, PA -  Fifteen of America's most gifted biomedical scientists have been chosen as 2004 Pew Biomedical Scholars, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) announced today. Funded by the Trusts through a grant to UCSF, the prestigious scholarship program offers each scientist a total award of $240,000 to help support his or her research over a four-year period. The program also provides a unique community for the scientists, who work in laboratories across the nation, enabling them to meet regularly and to discuss ideas, challenges and obstacles across sub-specialties. “Entrepreneurship and innovation were cherished by the founders of The Pew Charitable Trusts. We are enormously pleased to continue that tradition by supporting 15 of today's most gifted scientists, who are applying entrepreneurial spirit to the pursuit of biomedical knowledge,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Pew scholars will serve the public interest in powerful, if yet unknown, ways because their work today will shape tomorrow's scientific breakthroughs,” Ms. Rimel continued. “Their innovations will enable advances in chemistry, medicine, physics and other fields to improve the lives of human kind. We are grateful for these scholars' commitment and are excited to learn of their continuing discoveries.”

The Pew Biomedical Scholars program was launched in 1985 to provide crucial early support to investigators who show outstanding promise in the basic and clinical sciences. The program's premise recognized that resources awarded early in the scholars' careers could provide more independence to some of America's greatest emerging scientific minds, freeing them to focus earlier on their own areas of interest. Since 1985, the Trusts has invested close to $90 million to fund nearly 400 scholars. Before, during and after their time as Pew Scholars, they illumine their fields. Last year, biomedical scholar Roderick MacKinnon, class of 1992, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and many other Pew Scholar alumni have received prestigious awards and honors.

The Scholars selection process is very competitive as all the nominees are highly regarded in their fields. This year, 127 institutions were invited to nominate a candidate. The scholars were chosen by a distinguished national advisory committee chaired by Dr. Torsten N. Wiesel, president emeritus of Rockefeller University, and a 1981 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine.

The 2004 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences are:

Mark Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

James Chou, Ph.D., Harvard University

Valentin Dragoi, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Michael Dyer, Ph.D., St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Nicole King, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Guillermo Marques, Ph.D., University of Alabama

Tirin Moore, Ph.D., Stanford University

Valerie Reinke, Ph.D., Yale University

JoAnn Sekiguchi, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Lisa Stowers, Ph.D., Scripps Research Institute

Brian Strahl, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Raphael Valdivia, Ph.D., Duke University

Victor Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins

University Ning Zheng, Ph.D., University of Washington

Ethan Lee, M.D., Ph.D.,Vanderbilt University

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a public charity, serves the public interest by providing information, policy solutions and support for civic life. Based in Philadelphia, with an office in Washington, D.C., the Trusts makes investments to provide organizations and citizens with fact-based research and practical solutions for challenging issues. In 2003, The Trusts' dedicated assets were approximately $4.1 billion and it committed more than $143 million to 151 nonprofit organizations. More information about the Trusts can be found at www.pewtrusts.org.