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:6/22/2016)... BETHESDA, Md. , June 22, 2016  The American ... by Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of ... Summit on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in ... based on the highest percentage of growth in each of ... number of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the ... institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the Class ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, ... Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I ... President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific ...
Breaking Biology Technology: