HHMI International Research Scholars from Central Europe, former Soviet Union and Baltics to Explore Biomedical Frontiers at Conference in Prague on June 23-26.

Leading scientists from Central Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Baltics will gather in Prague on June 23-26 to discuss the genetic causes of cancer, the molecular basis of Alzheimer's disease and dozens of other topics at the frontiers of biology.

The conference brings together for the first time the scientists named last year as International Research Scholars of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Selected from more than 2,000 candidates, the scientists from 10 countries are among the world's most innovative biomedical researchers. Many have been struggling with sharply limited resources to unravel the biomedical mysteries that underlie disease.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the largest philanthropy in the United States, has organized the meeting to highlight the increasingly important biomedical research being carried out throughout the region. The conference, featuring 66 scientific talks and a poster session, begins the evening of June 23 at the Hotel Forum in Prague. HHMI President Purnell W. Choppin will deliver the keynote address at the conference, which is being held with the auspices of Czech President Vaclav Havel.

The five-year HHMI grants total nearly $15 million (U.S.) and support research by the scientists at their own institutions. Sixty of the grants also promote joint research with collaborating scientists in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Japan and Australia. Nineteen of these collaborating scientists are expected to attend the Prague conference.

The 89 International Research Scholars, all but two of whom will attend the meeting, are citizens of Russia (36), Hungary (14), Czech Republic (12), Poland (11), Slovak Republic (6), Lithuania (3), Ukraine (3), Estonia (2), Belarus (1) and Latvia (1). Another scientist has left the program to accept a research position outside the region.

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