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Julia Zeitlinger selected for NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Julia Zeitlinger, Ph.D., Stowers Institute Assistant Investigator, has been awarded a Director's New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Zeitlinger was selected among 31 early-career scientists to receive $1.5 million over five years. The awards enable recipients to pursue exceptionally innovative approaches that could transform biomedical and behavioral science.

"Nothing is more important to me than stimulating and sustaining deep innovation, especially for early career investigators and despite challenging budgetary times. These highly creative researchers are tackling important scientific challenges with bold ideas and inventive technologies that promise to break through barriers and radically shift our understanding," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

Dr. Zeitlinger joined the Stowers Institute in September 2007 from a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Richard Young, Ph.D., in the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass.

Dr. Zeitlinger will use the NIH Director's New Innovator Award to analyze the function of chromatin in the context of gene regulatory networks during development. She hypothesizes that the way DNA is packaged and poised for transcription can predict the developmental potential of a cell. Identifying the right markers will contribute to our understanding of development and may help in predicting the course of diseases.

"I am very grateful to be chosen for this award," says Dr. Zeitlinger. "I look forward to implementing my ideas. The Stowers Institute is an ideal environment for this project."

"Dr. Zeitlinger is the Institute's first honoree for the NIH Director's New Innovator Award," said William B. Neaves, Ph.D., President and CEO. "Competition for the 31 Awards was intense, but no one at the Stowers Institute was surprised by her selection Dr. Zeitlinger is a superb scientist who approaches cutting-edge research with creativity and enthusiasm."


Contact: Marie Jennings
Stowers Institute for Medical Research

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