BWF Announces the Inaugural Class of Underrepresented Minority Postdoctoral Enrichment Awards

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is pleased to introduce its inaugural awardee class for the 2013 Underrepresented Minority Postdoctoral Enrichment program.

The award provides $50,000 over three years to support career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical research.

“We were delighted by the quality and number of applicants we received,” said BWF President Dr. John Burris.  “We are confident that they will continue to excel and go on to bright careers in science.”

The program was created in response to the limited number of applications BWF receives from underrepresented minorities for its other competitive career development programs and to the overall small number of underrepresented minority postdocs and faculty members in the biomedical sciences.

BWF received 99 eligible applications. The program’s advisory committee selected 10 for awards.

The 2013 awardees are:

Mehabaw Derebe, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Retinoid Binding Function of Serum Amyloid A Proteins

Kimberly Kempadoo, Ph.D.
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Role of dopamine in mediating hippocampal place cell stability and spatial learning

Daniel Koch, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Unique Cancer Stem Cell Signature in MYC Addicted Progenitor cells

Carlos Ponce, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Functional roles of V2 and V4 parallel input pathways in object recognition

Francisco Robles, Ph.D.
Duke University

Novel molecular contrast mechanisms for biomedical applications using pump-probe nonlinear phase dispersion spectroscopy

Philip Romero, Ph.D.
University of California-San Francisco
Engineering therapeutic proteins via large-scale sequence-function mapping

Felipe Santiago-Tirado, Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Mechanisms of Brain Infection by Cryptococcus neoformans

Racquel Sherwood, Ph.D.
Yale University
Identification of Legionella pneumophila Autophagy Regulators.

Sade Spencer, Ph.D.
Medical University of South Carolina
Investigating the role of astrocyte-secreted synaptogenic molecules in cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and reinstatement behavior.

Nikki Traylor-Knowles, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Some Like It Hot: The Mechanisms of TNFR Signaling In Corals


The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is a private, independent foundation located in Research Triangle Park, NC.  BWF is dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other educational endeavors.

Media Contact:  Russ Campbell at 919/667-8866 or news [at]