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Scientists from 29 Countries Will Meet in Estonia


Leading biomedical scientists from six continents will gather in Tallinn, Estonia, June 23 to 26 to discuss their research, which ranges from the genetic origins of cancer to new ways to fight parasitic and infectious diseases that afflict people worldwide.

In Tallinn, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholars will have an unusual opportunity to join colleagues from other parts of the world who work on similar problems. Scientists from India, Uganda and Israel, for instance, will compare notes on research involving malaria and other parasitic diseases. Researchers from Canada, Russia, and other nations will examine the potential of new genomic techniques. Other sessions will bring together scientists from Australia to Argentina and Mexico to Taiwan, to discuss research ranging from protein folding to virology.


Highly competitive grants from HHMI have enabled these scientists to carry out research in their own countries despite difficult economic conditions, providing critical funds for supplies, support of graduate students, travel to scientific meetings, and other needs. Part of the funding also is directed at building scientific infrastructure at the grantees' home institutions.

HHMI President Thomas R. Cech will open the meeting June 23 at Tallinn's Radisson SAS Hotel with a keynote address about the structure of human telomeres. More than 100 HHMI international research scholars from 29 countries will present scientific talks and posters. Seven EMBO/HHMI Young Investigators and Scientists also will attend the meeting. They are promising molecular biologists from the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary who are early in their research careers.

Since 1991, HHMI has awarded more than $100 million in five-year grants to support the work of outstanding biomedical scientists in their home countries around the world. The Institute is expanding its commitment to fostering international biomedical research with two new competitions for more than $30 million in research grants to biomedical scientists outside the United States. The competitions are aimed at promising researchers whose careers are still developing, the most likely targets of enticing job offers in more economically privileged countries. Eighty scientists will be awarded five-year grants of $50,000 to $100,000 annually.

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Jim Keeley
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Cindy Fox Aisen
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