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2 UC Davis plant biologists named as HHMI-GBMF investigators
Date:6/17/2011

Two plant biologists at the University of California, Davis, have been selected among the first-ever class of HHMI-GBMF Investigators, funded jointly by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Simon Chan, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences, and Jorge Dubcovsky, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, are among 15 recipients nationwide of the new awards program, to be supported with $75 million from the two organizations over the next five years.

Their awards will cover their salaries and benefits for five years and provide funds for equipment, lab space and to support their research, relieving them of the need to seek other grants. Both scientists pursue research with the potential to help avert a looming global food crisis.

"I congratulate professors Chan and Dubcovsky on this great honor, to be recognized by these leading foundations as two of the most innovative plant scientists in the country," said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. "It is also tremendous recognition for UC Davis as a whole, as one of the nation's and the world's leading centers for research in plant biology, making advances that will bring benefits in food production, as well as in health, energy and the environment."

Ken Burtis, dean of the College of Biological Sciences, described Chan as an inspired teacher and mentor to graduate and undergraduate students. "Simon Chan was an outstanding choice to become an HHMI-GBMF investigator," Burtis said. "His work on plant chromosomes is leading to both fundamental insights into mechanisms of genetic inheritance, as well as practical applications that will accelerate the breeding of crop plants."

Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, called Dubcovsky's selection "a tremendous and well-deserved honor."


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Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

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