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From Autism to Diabetes to Parkinson's Disease: Pew Funds 22 Early-Career Scientists to Take Calculated Risks

PHILADELPHIA, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty-two of the nation's most enterprising researchers were named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts today. The scholarships provide flexible funding to early-career scientists researching the basis of perplexing health problems such as diabetes, autism, Parkinson's disease, and cancer. The new scholars join a prestigious community of researchers who have gone on to become Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award winners, and hundreds of other pioneers who earned Pew grants at the start of their careers.

"The Pew scholars program gives innovative scientists both the freedom to take calculated risks and the resources to pursue the most promising, but untried, avenues for scientific breakthroughs," said Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of Pew. "Pew funding provides an 'insurance policy,' allowing our scientists to be adventurous with their research. Though their scientific fields are diverse, their commitment is uniform: harnessing scientific discovery to improve human health."

The scholars program, launched in 1985, has granted more than $120 million in funding to more than 500 scientists at the beginning of their independent careers. The rigorously competitive program awards recipients $240,000 over four years to pursue their projects without direction or restriction. To be considered, applicants must demonstrate excellence and creativity in their research. This year, 179 institutions were invited to nominate a candidate, and 134 eligible nominations were received.

"Now more than ever, young scientists need the support to pursue untested leads," said Craig C. Mello, Ph.D., a 1995 Pew scholar and a 2006 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine. "I am confident that these gifted scholars will make tremendous contributions to science. Their work will provide the world with new knowledge and tools to do tomorrow what seems impossible today."

Pew also directs the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences, which for 22 years has provided support to young Latin American scientists receiving postdoctoral training in the United States.

The 2013 Pew biomedical scholars are:

Hillel Adesnik, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Mark Andermann, Ph.D.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Bo Chen, Ph.D.
Yale University School of Medicine

Claudio Giraudo, Ph.D.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Cell biology and immunology

Andrew Goodman, Ph.D.
Yale University

Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology

Sergei Grivennikov, Ph.D.
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Cancer biology and immunology

Andrew Huberman, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
Developmental neurobiology

Suckjoon Jun, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
Quantitative and physical biology

Shingo Kajimura, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Developmental biology and metabolism

Jeffrey Kidd, Ph.D.
University of Michigan Medical School

April Kloxin, Ph.D.
University of Delaware
Bioengineering and integrative biology

Fei Li, Ph.D.
New York University
Gene regulation and chromatin biology

Shelly Peyton, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Bioengineering and cancer biology

Manu Prakash, Ph.D.
Stanford University School of Medicine
Bioengineering and insect ecology

Avital Rodal, Ph.D.
Brandeis University

June Round, Ph.D.
University of Utah
Microbiology and immunology

Alexander Sobolevsky, Ph.D.
Columbia University Medical Center
Biochemistry and molecular biophysics

Leo Wan, Ph.D.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ilana Witten, Ph.D.
Princeton University

Qi Wu, Ph.D.
University of Iowa
Neuroscience and energy metabolism

Qiaobing Xu, Ph.D.
Tufts University

For information regarding the scholars' research, please visit

The Pew Charitable Trusts ( is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public, and stimulate civic life. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

Related Links:
Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts
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