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Thirty-six Physicians Awarded Support to Pursue Careers as Physician-Scientists

Thirty-six Physicians Awarded Support to Pursue Careers as Physician-Scientists

Summary

Thirty-six young physicians have been selected as fellows by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to spend the next three years studying the role of homeobox genes in development, Drosophilia as a model system for neurodegenerative diseases, the molecular regulators of peripheral tolerance in an in vivo model of autoimmune diabetes, and other subjects at the frontier of biomedical research.

The physician postdoctoral fellows will receive training for careers as physician-scientists, experts who combine basic research skills with clinical experience. This combination gives them a unique understanding of diseases and helps them think in fresh ways of possible new treatments and cures.

The fellows are the latest in a highly competitive HHMI program that supports physicians in obtaining research training in the study of basic biological processes and disease mechanisms, at leading laboratories. All have completed at least two years of clinical training since graduating from medical school.

"These outstanding young physician-scientists are committed to advancing our knowledge of basic biological processes and disease mechanisms, at a time of unparalleled opportunity in medical research," said HHMI President Purnell W. Choppin, M.D. "They have selected superb mentors with whom to work as they explore the frontiers of biomedical science in such diverse areas as signaling systems, ion channels, genetic control of development, cancer pathogenesis, and malaria vaccines."

In this tenth year of the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships for Physicians program, the new fellows include 9 women and 27 men who will be working with research mentors at 21 universities, research institutions, and hospitals, including 7 HHMI laboratories. The three-year fellowships provide annually a stipend of $40,000 to $60,000, a research allowance of $16,000, and an institutional allowance of $13,000.

This year’s group of awardees includes 28 physicians from the United States, and one each from Bangladesh, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Taiwan. More than 90 physicians are now being supported under the fellowship program, at an annual cost of about $6 million.

"Molecular medicine is a reality as we approach the new millennium," said Joseph G. Perpich, M.D., J.D., HHMI’s vice president for grants and special programs. "We have learned so much about the genetics and molecular biology of life, and how it goes awry. Studies of oncogenes, growth factors, and receptors, for example, point the way to new treatment for cancer, diabetes, and neurologic disorders. In the years ahead the fellows’ work will cross the boundaries from basic to disease-oriented to patient-oriented research, resulting in exciting new approachesfor patients and populationsto the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease."

The HHMI program differs from similar postdoctoral opportunities because it offers research support only to physicians who have had clinical experience since receiving their medical degrees. It complements other HHMI grant initiatives that support research training of medical and predoctoral students, research resources at U.S. medical schools, and the research of scientists outside the United States. HHMI has the nation’s largest private program to improve science education.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a medical research organization that employs scientists in cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology. Hughes investigators conduct medical research in HHMI laboratories at 72 outstanding academic medical centers and universities nationwide. Through its complementary grants program, HHMI supports science education in the United States and a select group of researchers abroad.


Postdoctoral Research Fellowships for Physicians 1999 Fellows



Cell and Developmental Biology


David Monty Berman, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Philip A. Beachy, Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. His project is "The role of cholesterol homeostasis in sonic hedgehog signaling."

David Seth Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratories of Howard Allen Rockman, M.D., at Duke University Medical Center, Department of Medicine, and Robert Joseph Lefkowitz, M.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center, Department of Medicine. His project is "Beta-adrenergic receptor kinase function and regulation in heart failure."

Shridar Ganesan, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of David M. Livingston, M.D., at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Cancer Biology. His project is "Selective disruption of the BRCA1 gene in cultured murine cells using the Cre/lox system."

Jonathan Neil Glickman, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Jeffrey Lewis Sklar, M.D., Ph.D., at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Pathology. His project is "Role of the notch signaling pathway in mammalian epithelial differentiation."

Kenjiro Kosaki, M.D., in the laboratory of William J. McGinnis, Ph.D., at University of California-San Diego, Department of Biology. His project is "Identification of the mammalian homologues of the Drosophila apt and poc genes and a characterization of their roles in mammalian head development.*

Brett Peter Lauring, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Martin Wiedmann, Ph.D., at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics. His project is " In vitro reconstitution of gamma secretase processing of amyloid precursor protein."

Kimberly Anne Moore, M.D., in the laboratory of Donald Elliot Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., at Children’s Hospital (Boston), Department of Pathology and Surgery. Her project is "Rho controls G1 progression by mediating the effects of cell shape on P21 kip1 expression in capillary endothelial cells."

Melissa Ann Parisi, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratories of Raj Paul Kapur, M.D., Ph.D., at University of Washington, Department of Pathology, and Richard D. Palmiter, Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Washington, Department of Biochemistry. Her project is "The role of neural cell adhesion molecule L1 in the development of the enteric nervous system and the pathogenesis of Hirschsprung disease."

Jayaraj Rajagopal, M.D., in the laboratory of Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Harvard University, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. His project is "Organogenesis and pattern formation in the vertebrate foregut."

Chinweike Ukomadu, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Anindya Dutta, M.B., B.S., Ph.D., at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Pathology. His project is "Cell cycle regulation of liver regeneration."

Genetics and Molecular Biology


Steven Edward Artandi, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Adult Oncology. His project is "Impact of telomerase deficiency on breast cancer development in a mouse."

Peter N. Bowers, M.D., in the laboratory of Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine and Genetics. His project is "The genetic etiology of hypoplastic left heart syndrome."

Emily Hsiao-Yu Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratories of Stanley J. Korsmeyer, M.D., at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, and J. Marie Hardwick, Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Her project is "Functional analysis of a potential adapter molecule mediating Bcl-x L /Apaf-1 interaction."

Patrick John Hu, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D., at Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Molecular Biology. His project is "Identification of genes involved in the insulin-like signal transduction pathway of Caenorhabditis elegans."

Dennis Hyong-Kyun Kim, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Frederick M. Ausubel, Ph.D., at Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Molecular Biology. His project is " Genetic dissection of host immunity in a Caenorhabditis elegansPseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenesis model."

Gordon Kent Leung, M.D., in the laboratory of Stephen G. Young, M.D., at J. David Gladstone Institutes, Department of Cardiovascular Disease. His project is "An analysis of two membrane proteases responsible for CAAX protein processing."

Ganeshwaran Hitoshi Mochida, M.D., in the laboratory of Christopher A. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Neurology. His project is "Identification of genes associated with autism."

Maria Laura Nino-Rosales, M.D., in the laboratory of Juan Botas, Ph.D., at Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics. Her project is " Drosophila as a model system to study human neurodegenerative diseases."

Tim Dominik Sparwasser, M.D., in the laboratory of Dan R. Littman, M.D., Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and New York University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology. His project is "Role of Nef in HIV infection."

Andrew T. Thliveris, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of William F. Dove, Ph.D., at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Oncology. His project is "The isolation of modified genes affecting neoplasia."

David Arthur Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Cancer Research, Department of Biology. His project is "Creation of a murine model of pancreatic cancer."

Rebekah Ruth White, M.D., in the laboratory of Bruce A. Sullenger, Ph.D., at Duke University Medical Center, Department of Surgery. Her project is "Inhibition of intimal hyperplasia using RNA ligands (aptamers) for E2F."

Sandra Sue Zinkel, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Stanley J. Korsmeyer, M.D., at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS. Her project is "The role of BID in apoptosis-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and the TNF/Fas death pathway."

Immunology and Microbiology


Mark Stuart Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Diane Mathis, Ph.D., and Christophe Benoist, M.D., Ph.D., at Joslin Diabetes Center, Department of Immunology and Immunogenetics. His project is "Effect of molecular regulators of peripheral tolerance in an in vivo model of autoimmune diabetes."

Pietro Giovanni Andres, M.D., in the laboratories of Abul K. Abbas, M.D., at University of California-San Francisco, Department of Pathology, and Hans-Christian Reinecker, M.D., at Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology. His project is "Regulation of cytokine signaling pathways in the control of functional immune responses."

Jeff Moore Critchfield, M.D., in the laboratory of Arthur Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of California-San Francisco, Department of Medicine. His project is "Exploring a role for Syk tyrosine kinase in T cell activation and T cell memory."

Sabina Akhtar Islam, M.D., in the laboratories of Spyros A. Kalams, M.D., and Bruce D. Walker, M.D., at Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Infectious Diseases. Her project is "Molecular analysis of CD4 + cell T cell receptor in acute and chronic HIV infection."

Cammie F. Lesser, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Samuel I. Miller, M.D., at University of Washington, Department of Medicine. Her project is "Development of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system for the functional analysis of pathogenic bacterial proteins."

David Jon Miller, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Paul Gerald Ahlquist, Ph.D., at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Molecular Virology. His project is "Host-pathogen interactions in viral replication."

Erik Arthur Ranheim, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Irving L. Weissman, M.D., at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology. His project is "Geography and kinetics of T cell responses to specific self and foreign antigens."

William Hewitt Robinson, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Lawrence Steinman, M.D., at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Neurological Sciences. His project is "DNA vaccinemediated immunotherapy for an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis."

Costi David Sifri, M.D., in the laboratories of Stephen B. Calderwood, M.D., at Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Frederick M. Ausubel, Ph.D., at Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Molecular Biology. His project is "Identification and characterization of selected GacA-regulated genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa using multiple host systems."

Robert Todd Striker, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Karla A. Kirkegaard, Ph.D., at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. His project is "Studies of the hepatitis C virus polymerase and intracellular assays for polymerase function."

Ravi Kumar Veeraswamy, M.D., in the laboratory of Emil Unanue, M.D., at Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology. His project is "Biochemistry of the I-Ag7 molecule: implications for autoimmunity in the NOD mouse."

Catherine Ju-Ying Wu, M.D., in the laboratory of Jerome Ritz, M.D., at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Adult Oncology. Her project is "Identification of tumor-associated antigens involved in the anti-leukemic response following donor lymphocyte infusion."

Neuroscience and Physiology


Anjen Chenn, M.D., Ph.D., in the laboratory of Christopher A. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Neurology. His project is "Pak3 signaling in mental retardation and cerebral cortical development."

*Award deferred from 1998.

For More Information

Jim Keeley
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