Twelve Early-Career NIH Researchers Receive Prestigious Award
Twelve NIH-supported researchers have been awarded the nation’s highest honor for scientists at the outset of their professional careers. Ten NIH grantees and two intramural NIH scientists were selected by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to receive the prestigious 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). They were honored in a ceremony at the White House with President George W. Bush on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.
The PECASE program represents the high priority the federal government places on leadership in the sciences. Since its inception in 1996, the PECASE program has sought to enhance connections between fundamental scientific research and national goals. NIH’s PECASE winners have achieved excellence in multiple disciplines of biomedical research and have complemented their research efforts with a strong commitment to education and mentorship in their communities.
"NIH is extraordinarily proud of these 12 PECASE winners who have, early in their research careers, shown exceptional potential for scientific leadership," Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., Acting NIH Director said. "Supporting new young scientists, particularly in these challenging economic times, is a priority for NIH. We look forward to continued success from these outstanding investigators as they push the frontiers of medical research." Dr. Kington and all of NIH extend congratulations to the following researchers:
- Thomas Blanpied of the University of Maryland School of Medicine his work on protein organization in brain neurons;
- Kevin Eggan of Harvard University for reprogramming patient cells into pluripotent stem cells;
- Raymond Habas of Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in Piscataway, New Jersey for his discoveries regarding gastrulation during embryogenesis;
- Amy B. Heimberger of the University of Texas for her research on central nervous system immune biology;
- James C. Iatridis of the University of Vermont for his research on engineering for the prevention of intervertebral disc degeneration;
- Francis S. Lee of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University for pioneering research that may lead to novel treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders;
- Michael J. MacCoss of the University of Washington for development of mass spectrometry and stable isotope-based technologies;
- Suchitra Nelson of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio for research on factors that lead to dental caries in low birth weight infants;
- Laura E. O’Dell of the University of Texas, El Paso for her insights into the neurobehavioral mechanisms that mediate adolescent tobacco use;
- Li Zhang of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine for innovative research on the structure and function of neural circuitry in the auditory cortex;
- Daphne W. Bell and Eliott H. Margulies, both of the National Human Genome Institute at NIH, for their contributions to the field of human genomics.
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