25 Years of Pew Biomedical Scholars (Fall 2010 Trust Magazine Briefly Noted)

Source Organization: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Author: Kip Patrick

11/19/2010 - The Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, having awarded more than $125 million to nearly 500 promising researchers.

Those statistics are significant enough, but consider someother results from the investment:

  • three Nobel Prize winners
  • three MacArthur fellows
  • two recipients of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award

The program enables scientists in health fields to take calculated risks, expand their research and explore unanticipated leads. Scholars are supported with $240,000 over four years. Work by this year’s 21 Pew biomedical scholars includes research related to cancer, Alzheimer’s, autism, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease and birth defects. A list of current and past winners can be found in the “Emerging Science” section at www.pewtrusts.org.

“Being named a Pew biomedical scholar early in my career gave me the confidence and resources I needed to pursue new research areas,” said Dr. Carol W. Greider, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who in 1990 was named a Pew scholar and in 2009 received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Through the generosity of Kathryn W. Davis, Pew has expanded the Biomedical Scholars program this year to include another 20 outstanding assistant-professor-level researchers to be named Pew scholars over the next four years. Aligned with Davis’ interest in identifying the causes of and discovering a cure for glaucoma, the additional scholars supported by the $5.6 million initiative will have the potential for uncovering vital clues to many debilitating ocular diseases.

“This immensely talented and diverse new class of Pew scholars will undoubtedly have a major impact on biomedical research through their contributions as part of the Pew community and on science as a whole. Their discoveries over time will lead to new medical breakthroughs and improve human health,” said Dr. Craig C. Mello, a 1995 Pew scholar and 2006 Nobel laureate, who is chairman of the programs’ national advisory committee.

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