Benjamin tenOever, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been selected by the United States government for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The White House announced the 100 honorees on July 9 and will host them at a reception with President Barack Obama.
The highest honor bestowed by the country on young professionals in the early stages of their research careers, the award comes with $500,000 in research funding over a five year span. The Department of Defense, which nominated Dr. tenOever, will match this amount, giving him $1 million for research over five years. Dr. tenOever's lab focuses on developing novel vaccine strategies to combat influenza virus and other emerging pathogens.
"My receipt of this Presidential Award reflects the priority Mount Sinai School of Medicine places on discoveries that have immediate impact on human health," said Dr. tenOever. "This is truly one of the greatest honors bestowed upon me thus far in my career, and my work is just one of scores of translational research projects the Medical School has made possible through its commitment to breakthrough science."
In a White House press release, President Obama called the honorees "the best in our country" and said he is confident they will "help us use science and technology to lift up our nation and our world."
Nominees are chosen annually by nine Federal departments and agencies. Award selections are based on two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science, and technology and a commitment to community service. Dr. tenOever and his team study cellular response to RNA virus infectionsthe genetic interactions that occur within cells attacked by virusas well as processes that render cells resistant to infection, in the hope of reducing the global burden from such pathogens.
"The National Science and Tech
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