Twenty of America’s Most Promising Scholars Named to Highly Selective Pew Scholars Program

Contact: Kip Patrick, 202.552.2135, Silvia Montano, 415.476.5116


Washington, DC - 06/19/2007 - The Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) announced today that 20 exceptional researchers have been selected as 2007 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.  As a Pew Scholar, each scientist will receive a $240,000 award over four years to help support his or her research, as well as gain inclusion into a unique community of scientists that encourages collaboration and exchange of ideas. The program is funded by Pew through a grant to UCSF and totals nearly $5 million for this class of scholars. “The Pew Scholars are among America’s finest biomedical research entrepreneurs. They seek out and mine unexpected leads in a quest for knowledge that may one day lead to new medical treatments and save lives,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Pew is honored to invest in these great minds, and to provide financial and professional support as they pursue their pioneering breakthroughs.”

While many grants available to scientists have strict guidelines governing how and on what funds must be spent, this award is coveted for its flexibility, as it is designed precisely to enable scientists to take calculated risks, expand their research and follow unanticipated leads.  The Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences program was launched in 1985 to provide crucial support to investigators in the early- to mid-stages of their careers who show outstanding promise in the basic and clinical sciences.  Since then, Pew has invested more than $100 million to fund nearly 400 scholars. 

Last year, a 1995 Pew Scholar, Dr. Craig Mello, was named a 2006 Nobel Prize winner in medicine.  Dr. Mello’s Pew award supported his research on RNA interference—an investigation that ultimately led to his award-winning discovery.  Dr. Roderick MacKinnon, a 1992 Pew Scholar, was selected as the Nobel Prize winner in chemistry in 2003.  Dr. Carol W. Greider, a 1990 Pew Scholar, was among a trio of leading scientists who won the 2006 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.

The Pew Scholars selection process is rigorously competitive, as all applicants are highly talented researchers in their fields.  Applicants must be nominated by an invited institution (currently there are 148) and must demonstrate excellence and innovation in their research. The scholars are selected by a distinguished national advisory committee, chaired by Dr. Torsten N. Wiesel, president emeritus of Rockefeller University and a 1981 Nobel laureate.

The 2007 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences are:

Scholar

Institution

Gro V. Amdam, Ph.D.Arizona State University
Kristin K. Baldwin, Ph.D.Scripps Research Institute
Robert H. Blelloch, M.D., Ph.D.University of California, San Francisco
Hinrich Boeger, M.D.University of California, Santa Cruz
Sean F. Brady, Ph.D.Rockefeller University
Edward B. Brown, Ph.D.University of Rochester
Ananda W. Goldrath, Ph.D.University of California, San Diego
Ekaterina Heldwein, Ph.D.Tufts University
Deborah T. Hung, M.D., Ph.D.Massachusetts General Hospital
Bart Krekelberg, Ph.D.Rutgers University
Joanna Masel, D.Phil.University of Arizona
Craig A. Micchelli, Ph.D.Washington University
Peter J. Mohler, Ph.D.University of Iowa
Daniela Nicastro, Ph.D.Brandeis University
Julie K. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Michael P. Rape, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley
Thomas U. Schwartz, Ph.D.Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David R. Sherwood, Ph.D.Duke University
Francis I. Valiyaveetil, Ph.D.Oregon Health and Science University
Xian-Zhong S. Xu, Ph.D.University of Michigan
The Pew Charitable Trusts (www.pewtrusts.org) is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share our commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

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