Navigation Links
Two innovative University of Texas at Austin biologists become HHMI Early Career Scientists
Date:3/27/2009

AUSTIN, Texas Two University of Texas at Austin biologists join 50 of the nation's best early career science faculty to focus on their boldest and potentially transformative research ideas with support from a new initiative from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

As Early Career Scientists, Dr. Dan Bolnick and Dr. John Wallingford will receive a six-year appointment to HHMI and, along with it, the freedom to explore their best ideas without worrying about where to find the money to fund those experiments.

Bolnick, an assistant professor of integrative biology, studies how species evolve using threespine stickleback fish on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Thousands of lakes and streams that were created when the giant glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age were colonized by the stickleback's marine ancestors, which were remarkably successful in adapting to various niches in their new habitats.

Today, the environmental variations among the lakes make them the perfect setting for Bolnick to explore how the fish coevolve with other organisms. He wants to determine why each lake harbors a distinctive community of parasites. He will then measure how sticklebacks' immune systems have evolved to fight off the parasites found in any given lake. Sorting out these responses may improve understanding of chronic parasite-borne diseases that affect humans.

John Wallingford, an associate professor of molecular cell and developmental biology, studies morphogenesishow tissues, organs and organisms develop their shapes. His interest in this field began as an undergraduate when he manipulated frog embryos and watched them develop in a dish of pond water. He later found that activating a single gene in the embryos triggers a series of shape-shifting events that curl a flat sheet of cells into a closed neural tube.

This tube later develops into the spinal cord and brain. Improper closure of the neural tube leads to birth defects, such as spina bifida. Wallingford is expanding his research program to use frogs and mice to study how genetic information is translated into the forces that move tissues during development.

HHMI will provide Wallingford and Bolnick with a full salary, benefits and a research budget of $1.5 million over their six-year appointment. The institute will also cover other expenses, including research space and the purchase of critical equipment.

The institute established its Early Career Scientist program in 2008 as a way to provide much-needed support to the United States' best faculty as they pursue innovative ideas in the early stages of their careers.

"These scientists are at the early stage of their careers, when they are full of energy and not afraid to try something new," said Jack Dixon, HHMI vice president and chief scientific officer. "They have already demonstrated that they are not apt to play it safeand we hope they will continue to do something really original."

Last year, Dr. Tanya Paull, an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, became the first faculty member at The University of Texas at Austin to be named an HHMI Investigator. This highly prestigious and coveted award is funded by a different support program at HHMI that gives established faculty the funding and flexibility to tackle their most ambitious, risky research plans.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lee Clippard
lclippard@mail.utexas.edu
512-232-0675
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Parkinsons Disease Foundation awards $300,000 in bridge funding for innovative research projects
2. WWF seeks innovative solutions to bycatch through worldwide competition
3. Developer of advanced computing memory, father of biochemical engineering, and innovative engineering educators win highest engineering honors of 2009
4. These shells dont clam up: Innovative technique to record human impact on coastal waters
5. These shells dont clam up: Innovative technique to record human impact on coastal waters
6. Personalized medicine: Innovative online journal leads the way
7. Innovative surgery by MSU veterinarian provides new lease on life to dogs
8. Innovative strategies for war wounded
9. GN Netcom Introduces Innovative Noise Blackout Technology
10. M2SYS Technology Innovative Fingerprint Biometrics Solution Chosen by Harms Software
11. Geisinger piloting innovative laboratory specimen processing instrument
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its ... announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of ... been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... digital pathology, announced today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is ... Advanced Pathology Associates , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new study published in Fertility and ... in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched cohort study ... comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the authors of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second ... a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, ... from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education ...
Breaking Biology Technology: