BWF Commits $22.5 Million to Advancing Biomedical Research

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Burroughs Wellcome Fund announced that 50 individual researchers have been recognized by the foundation for their excellence in biomedical research.  Through four different competitive award programs, these researchers have exhibited extraordinary leadership and research skills.  
 
“The Fund awards excellence at an individual level, and provides an opportunity for scientists to leverage our support into long and fruitful careers, “said BWF President Dr. John E. Burris.  
 
The following researchers have received awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, organized by the award program.
 
Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI) 
A total of 245 eligible pre-proposal applications for the twelfth cycle of this award program were received in September 2014.  Each awardee will receive a grant of $500,000 over five years.  Recognizing the vital role such cross-trained scientists will play in furthering biomedical science, these grants are intended to foster the early career development of researchers who have transitioned or are transitioning from undergraduate and/or graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences, and who are dedicated to pursuing a career in academic research.
 
Lacramioara Bintu, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology 
Dynamics of epigenetic regulation at the single-cell level
 
Alistair Nicol Boettiger, Ph.D.
Harvard University 
Direct imaging of the nanoscale structural organization of chromatin as shaped by developmental signals
 
Julijana Gjorgjieva, Ph.D.
Brandeis University 
Deriving network behavior from single neuron biophysics, synaptic plasticity and neuromodulation
 
Ann M Hermundstad, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Beyond independence: emergent neural function and the natural world
 
Markita Patricia Landry, Ph.D. 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Synthetic antibodies for real-time monitoring of cellular protein imbalances and protein misfolding
 
Monica M Laronda, Ph.D.
Northwestern University 
Engineering an artificial ovary to restore fertility and endocrine function in cancer survivors
 
Chen Li, Ph.D.
University of California-Berkeley 
The terradynamics of biological movement in complex terrain
 
Francisco Eduardo Robles, Ph.D.
Duke University 
Molecular imaging based on the linear and nonlinear refractive index for biomedical applications
 
Allyson E Sgro, Ph.D.
Princeton University 
Greater as a whole: bridging intracellular signaling and population behaviors in collective systems
 
Jeffrey Neil Stirman, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 
Trepan2p Microscopy: panoramic brain imaging with cellular resolution for systems neuroscience
 
Vivek Venkatachalam, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Lifetime behavior and neurophysiology in C. elegans
 
Christina May Woo, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Expansion of the druggable proteome: understanding proteome-wide small molecule--protein interactions
 
Career Awards for Medical Scientists (CAMS) 
The CAMS program was established to facilitate the transition of the academic physician scientist from a mentored position to a tenure track faculty appointment.  The program has gone through seven complete cycles and 84 awards have been made.  The award provides $700,000 over five years.  For this award cycle, 112 eligible applications were received.  
 
Jennifer M Alexander-Brett, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University
Targeting the Regulatory Mechanism of the Nucleokine IL-33
 
Daniel Evan Bauer, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School 
Functional Characterization of Trait-Associated Enhancers\
 
James Toliver Bennett, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Washington
Impact of Somatic Mutations on Birth Defects
 
Shadmehr Demehri, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Local and Systemic Effects of TSLP on Cancer
 
Charles Gawad, M.D.
Stanford University
Defining the Cellular and Genetic Origins of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia using Single-Cell Genomics
 
Matthew Blake Greenblatt, M.D., Ph.D.
Novel Mechanisms of Bone Formation
Weill Cornell Medical College
 
Rajan Jain, M.D.
University of Pennsylvania 
Nuclear lamina-chromatin interactions are drivers of cardiac progenitor cell commitment
 
Matthew Stern Kayser, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
A role for sleep in synapse development and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disorders
 
Dan Avi Landau, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Genetic and Epigenetic Determinants of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Evolution
 
Kory Joshua Lavine, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Distinct Macrophage Lineages Govern Cardiac Recovery and Heart Failure Progression
 
Bluma J. Lesch, M.D., Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evolutionary and functional characterization of poised chromatin in the mammalian germ line
 
Joseph Douglas Mancias, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Role of ferritinophagy in iron metabolism and pancreatic cancer
 
Anna Victoria Rotberg Molofsky, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California-San Francisco
Astrocyte-Encoded Regional cues in Developmental Synapse Formation
 
Sahar Nissim, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Discovery, Validation, and Characterization of Novel Familial Pancreatic Cancer Genes
 
Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
The Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (PATH) award provides $500,000 over five years to support accomplished investigators at the assistant professor level to study pathogenesis, with a focus on the interplay between human and microbial biology, shedding light on how human and microbial systems are affected by their encounters. 
 
Jesse D Bloom, Ph.D.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
High-throughput profiling of humoral immune selection
 
Igor E. Brodsky, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania 
Defining the role of caspase-8 in anti-microbial host defense
 
Ken Cadwell, Ph.D.
New York University School of Medicine 
Gene-microbe interactions in inflammatory bowel disease
 
Matthew James Evans, Ph.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 
Determinants of hepatitis C virus persistence
 
Andrew L Goodman, Ph.D.
Yale University 
Understanding pathogen-commensal interaction in the earliest stages of infection
 
Elissa A Hallem, Ph.D.
University of California-Los Angeles 
Thermosensation in skin-penetrating parasitic nematodes
 
Sun Hur, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School 
Discovery of novel antiviral "effector-like" functions of RIG-I and MDA5
 
Rahul Manu Kohli, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania 
Tuning evolution and antibiotic resistance by modulating the SOS pathway
 
Li-Jun Ma, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst  
Supernumerary chromosomes and pathogenicity of opportunistic fungal infections
 
Luciano A Marraffini, Ph.D.
Rockefeller University
Effect of type III CRISPR-Cas immunity on phage-mediated staphylococcal pathogenesis
 
Daniel Mucida, Ph.D.
Rockefeller University 
Intestinal surveillance by intraepithelial lymphocytes
 
Nan Yan, D.Phil.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center-Dallas
STING activation at the nexus of microbial infection and host innate immunity
 
Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (PDEP)
The Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (PDEP) provides a total of $60,000 over three years to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in a degree-granting institution in the United States or Canada whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research. 
 
Breann L. Brown, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Elucidating key protein-protein interactions that control substrate selection by the Lon AAA protease
 
Travis James Chapa, Ph.D.
University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine 
Determine the mechanism underlying gamma-herpesvirus late transcription initiation
 
Laura M. K. Dassama, Ph.D.
Northwestern University 
Functional and structural characterization of a methanobactin transporter
 
David M. Garcia, Ph.D.
Stanford University School of Medicine 
Heritable protein aggregation affecting RNA regulation
 
Tamia Alisha Harris-Tryon, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center-Dallas
Microbiota-immune system interactions in the skin
 
Michael John Mitchell, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
A nanoparticle platform for siRNA delivery to bone marrow endothelium to disrupt bone metastasis formation
 
Samira Musah, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Directed differentiation of human iPS cells to reconstitute kidney glomerular function in vitro
 
Thomas Pohl, Ph.D.
Princeton University 
Role of G4 sequences in rDNA transcription and ribosome biogenesis and/or function
 
Steven Michael Santana, Ph.D.
University of Colorado-Boulder
A hydrogel-based microfluidic technology for biomimetic, in vitro cell culture in a hydrodynamic environment
 
Cecilia Sedano, Ph.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Mammalian stem cells and the response to virus infection
 
Elenoe Cheddena Smith, Ph.D.
Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
DNA elements within BCL11a and  its target sequences in hemoglobin switching
 
David Ashley Van Valen, M.D., Ph.D.
Stanford University 
Understanding host-virus interactions in bacterial systems at the single cell level