HomeNewsInstitute Awards $15 Million to Support Research by 47 Leading Biomedical Scientists in Canada and Latin America

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Institute Awards $15 Million to Support Research by 47 Leading Biomedical Scientists in Canada and Latin America

Institute Awards $15 Million to Support Research by 47 Leading Biomedical Scientists in Canada and Latin America

Summary

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute today announced that is has awarded $15 million in grants to support the research of 47 outstanding biomedical researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute today announced that it has awarded $15 million in grants to support the research of 47 outstanding biomedical researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela.

The scientists are carrying out research on a wide variety of biomedical topics, including the molecular bases of parasitic diseases that are prevalent in much of Latin America, the genetic origins of cancer, and the mechanisms that control cell growth.

The Institute, the largest U.S. philanthropy, now supports 164 International Research Scholars in 19 countries. Since 1991, it has awarded $53 million in grants through its international program, which complements the Institute's primary mission of carrying out biomedical research with its own scientists within the United States. HHMI's annual budget is approximately $455 million.

"Biomedical research serves people of all nations," said Purnell W. Choppin, the Institute's president. "With these grants, we are supporting outstanding scientists in the Americas who are advancing knowledge of how organisms develop, how the immune system functions, how our brains make sense of the world and other questions involving human health and disease. Many of these researchers are scientific leaders not only within their countries but worldwide."

The Institute previously awarded grants to biomedical researchers in Canada and Mexico in 1991, when it launched its international program. It is making awards to scientists in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela for the first time. Those selected are citizens of the following countries: Argentina (9), Brazil (7), Canada (20), Chile (3), Mexico (7) and Venezuela (1).

The new International Research Scholars were selected through a competitive process. The Institute invited senior scientists from Latin America, Canada and the United States to nominate candidates in the six countries who have made significant contributions to the study of basic biological processes or disease mechanisms. With guidance from an expert review panel, the Institute then chose the 47 scientists, whose research support will range from $50,000 to $80,000 annually for five years.

The grants provide salaries for students and other laboratory personnel, equipment and supplies, and travel to visit research collaborators or attend international scientific conferences. The grants also may include funds to support the International Research Scholarsi institutions, thereby assisting other scientists.

"The richness of the science and the vitality of the personal interactions of scholars at our meetings have been very evident as our international program has grown," said Joseph G. Perpich, HHMI's vice president for grants and special programs. "We began with Canada and Mexico in 1991 and are especially pleased now to award grants in new countries in Latin America."

In addition to these grants and those awarded to Canadian and Mexican scientists in 1991, the Institute has awarded grants in 1993 to researchers in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and in 1995 to scientists in Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine.

The latest grants also complement $895,000 that HHMI awarded last year to support joint activities among biomedical scientists in the Americas. Its four-year awards to the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering (U.S.) and the Academia de la Investigación Científica (Mexico) provide for laboratory courses, scientific meetings and other activities for life scientists in Mexico and South America.

The new International Research Scholars will gather annually at different cities in the Americas to discuss their work and explore possible collaborations. The first conference will take place in South America in January 1998.

HHMI is a medical research organization that employs approximately 280 independent scientists at 62 universities and academic medical centers across the United States. Its complementary grants program has awarded more than $600 million since 1988 to support biomedical researchers outside the United States and enhance the quality of science education for U.S. students at all levels.

For further information on the program or to arrange interviews with HHMI International Research Scholars, please contact Cindy Fox Aisen at Tel.: (317) 843-2276.
Fax: (317) 843-8303.
E-mail: cindyaisen@aol.com .

Or contact HHMI's David Jarmul at (301) 215-8857; jarmuld@hhmi.org

Argentina Alfredo Oscar Cáceres, M.D., Ph.D.
Independent Researcher, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET); Head, Neurobiology Group, Mercedes and Martín Ferreyra Institute for Medical Research, Córdoba, Argentina.
Microtubule-associated proteins and the development of a neuronal morphology A

na Belen Elgoyhen, Ph.D.
Assistant Scientist, Molecular Neurobiology, Pharmacological Research Institute, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Nicotinic receptors in auditory physiology

Alberto Carlos Clemente Frasch, Ph.D.
Institute for Research in Biotechnology, National University of General San Martin; Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Buenos Aires; Career Researcher, Research Career Department, National Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Two-domain parasite antigens in the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease

Hugo José Fernando Maccioni, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Sciences, National University of Córdoba; Principal Investigator, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Regulation of ganglioside synthesis in the central nervous system

Luis Segundo Mayorga, Ph.D.
Independent Researcher and Assistant Professor, Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina.
Mechanism of intracellular transport along the phagocytic pathway

Armando José Parodi, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Laboratory of Glycobiology, Institute for Biochemistry Research, Campomar Foundation; Professor of Biochemistry, Institute for Biochemical Research, School of Sciences, University of Buenos Aires; Career Investigator, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Quality control of glycoprotein folding

Alberto Luis Rosa, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Córdoba; Career Investigator, National Research Council (CONICET), Córdoba, Argentina
DNA methylation and mutation in Neurospora crassa.

Marcelo Rubinstein, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Institute of Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology, National Council of Science and Technology (CONICET); Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Functional role of D2-like dopamine receptors by targeted mutagenesis into the mouse genome

Fernando Carlos Soncini, Ph.D.
Researcher, Department of Microbiology, National University of Rosario, Rosario, Argentina.
The regulation of virulence functions in Salmonella typhimurium

Brazil Sérgio T. Ferreira, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Energetics, dynamics, and structural basis of deterministic behavior of proteins 

Jorge Kalil, M.D., D.Sc.
Associate Professor, School of Medicine, and Director, Laboratory of Immunology, Heart Institute, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Immunopathogenesis of human postinfectious autoimmune disease

Lucia Mendonça-Previato, D.Sc.
Professor, Department of General Microbiology, Microbiology Institute, Federal University, Rio de Janeiro; Member, Advisory Committee in Microbiology, National Research Council, Brasilia, Brazil; Member, Brazilian Academy of Science, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Studies on sialoglycoproteins and trans-sialidase system in Trypanosoma cruzi virulence

Glaucius Oliva, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Laboratory of Protein Crystallography and Structural Biology, Department of Physics and Informatics, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, Brazil.
Structural biology of medically important proteins: Crystallography, molecular modeling, and drug design

Maria Rita Passos-Bueno, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Genetics, Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Mapping, cloning, and characterization of genes important for human development

Fernando C. Reinach, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Visiting Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY.
Control of muscle contraction: The molecular mechanism of the troponin/tropomyosin "switch"

Jerson Lima Silva, M.D., Ph.D
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Energy linkage as the basis for macromolecular recognition: Protein folding, protein-nucleic acid interactions, and virus assembly

Canada Vanessa Jane Auld, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Analysis of glial genes and their roles in nervous system development 

Robert Christopher Bleackley, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Identification and characterization of proteins that interact with cytotoxic proteinases

Barton Brett Finlay, Ph.D.
Professor, Biotechnology Laboratory, and Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Interactions of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and Salmonella typhimurium with host cells

Jack Fred Greenblatt, Ph.D.
Professor, Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Elongation control mechanisms in transcription

Sergio Grinstein, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Regulation of pH and ionic concentration in compartments of the secretory pathway

Philippe Gros, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biochemistry; Member, Cancer Center; Member, Center for Host Resistance, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
P-glycoprotein: Lipid translocation and mechanism of drug transport

Mitsuhiko Ikura, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Division of Molecular and Structural Biology, Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada; Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto; Professor (joint appointment) Center for Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki-ken, Japan
Structural basis for information transfer in cells

Lewis E. Kay, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, and Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Development of NMR methods to study protein structure and dynamics: Application to signal transduction proteins containing SH2 and SH3 domains

Robert George Korneluk, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa; Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Canada.
Characterization of a novel gene family encoding apoptotic inhibitor proteins (IAPs)

Roderick Rowan McInnes, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, and Director, Developmental Biology Program, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children; Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
The genetics of mammalian retinal development and photoreceptor structure

Tim R. Mosmann, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Immunoregulation by T cell subsets and their cytokines

Michael Anthony Parniak, Ph.D.
Staff Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, and McGill AIDS Center, McGill University, Montreal; Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada.
Structure-function studies of drug resistant HIV reverse transcriptase

Anthony James Pawson, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto; Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Tyrosine kinase signaling in the nervous system

Richard Anthony Rachubinski, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Professor (cross appointment), Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Translocation machineries for peroxisomal matrix proteins

Randy John Read, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Protein crystallography and pathogenesis

Janet Rossant, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Program in Development and Fetal Health, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto; Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, and Professor, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Patterning the neural axis in the mouse embryo

Nahum Sonenberg, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Regulation of translation and cell growth by repressors of mRNA 5' cap binding protein

Peter Henry St. George-Hyslop, M.D., D.Sc.
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, and Director, Center for Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Vertebrate and invertebrate presenilin genes in neurodegeneration

Lap-Chee Tsui, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Sellers Chair in Cystic Fibrosis, Geneticist-in-Chief, Department of Genetics, The Hospital For Sick Children, Toronto; University Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, and Professor, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Molecular genetics of cystic fibrosis and other diseases

James R. Woodgett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor/Senior Scientist, Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada.
Roles of stress-activated protein kinase pathways in development

Chile Enrique Brandan, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Function of proteoglycans during skeletal muscle differentiation

Pedro Labarca, Ph.D. 
Professor, Biophysics Section, Santiago Center for Scientific Studies, and Associate Professor, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Electrophysiological correlates to short-term memory in Drosophila

Francisco Sepúlveda, Ph.D. 
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile; Professor, Santiago Center for Scientific Studies, Santiago, Chile.
Cloning and functional expression of intestinal epithelium chloride channels of the CIC family 

Mexico Carlos Federico Arias, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Genetics and Molecular Physiology, Institute of Biotechnology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Molecular biology of rotavirus replication

Carmen Clapp, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Neurobiology Center, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.
Autocrine and endocrine regulation of angiogenesis by prolactin gene products

Gerardo Gamba, M.D., Ph.D.
Titular Researcher, Department of Nephrology and Mineral Metabolism, Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Nutrition and Biomedical Research Institute, National University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.
Regulatory role of the C-terminal domain in the electroneutral Na-(K)-Cl cotransporters

Luis Rafael Herrera-Estrella, Ph.D.
Professor and Head, Plant Genetic Engineering Department, Center for Research and Advanced Studies, Irapuato, Mexico.
Molecular dissection and functional analysis of light-responsive elements from plants

Fernando López-Casillas, M.D., Ph.D.
Titular Researcher (Level B), Institute of Cellular Physiology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.
Betaglycan regulatory and therapeutic roles in TGF-( induced nephropathies

Esther Orozco, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Experimental Pathology, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute; Professor, Molecular Biomedicine Program, National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City, Mexico.
Genome organization and gene expression regulation in Entamoeba histolytica: Variability, virulence, and multi-drug resistance

Lourival Domingos Possani, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Molecular Recognition and Structural Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Cuernavaca; Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Medical School, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.
Chemical and functional characterization of scorpion toxins

Venezuela Raúl A. Padrón, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, Structural Biology Laboratory, Biophysics and Biochemistry Center, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research, Caracas, Venezuela.
Structural biology of muscle contraction and its regulation

For More Information

Jim Keeley
[ 301-215-8858 ]
Cindy Fox Aisen
[ 317-843-2276 ]