BWF Invests $21 Million in Biomedical Research

Early career scientists receive prestigious awards

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Board of Directors approved grants totaling more than $21 million to 48 early career scientists in basic biomedical research.  These grants represent four of the Fund’s competitive grant programs.

“This funding supports individual scientists poised to become leaders in their fields,” said BWF President John Burris, Ph.D.  “These awards are highly competitive and we look forward to seeing great things happen.”

In each award program, 12 researchers were selected after a rigorous review process.  The advisory committee interviewed the finalists at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund headquarters.  The award rate is below 10 percent.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is a private foundation dedicated to advancing biomedical research.

The 2014 awardees are:

Career Awards at the Scientific Interface
Five year awards that provide $500,000 to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the first three years of faculty service.  These awards are intended to foster the careers of scientists trained in physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry, and computation science answering biological questions.

Ariana E Anderson, Ph.D.
University of California-Los Angeles
It's all in your head: isolating the placebo effect in the brain to reduce drug development costs

Amit Choudhary, Ph.D.
Harvard University / Broad Institute
Snakes, antioxidants, and diabetes

Matthew C Good, Ph.D.
University of California-Berkeley
Cell size and shape dependence of intracellular assembly and signaling

Prashant Mali, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Engineering normal and diseased liver organogenesis

Nikhil S Malvankar, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Direct visualization of charge flow in individual native biomolecules

Elizabeth A Nance, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Nanoparticle-mediated targeted therapies for pediatric brain disorders

Elizabeth Hesper Rego, Ph.D.
Harvard School of Public Health
Drug use on the single cell level: differential antibiotic susceptibility of mycobacterial cells using fluorescent reporters.

Ramkumar Sabesan, Ph.D.
University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health
Studying visual function on a cellular scale

Kimberly Murley Stroka, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Engineering blood-brain barrier mechanobiology in tumor metastasis

Michael D. Vahey, Ph.D.
University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health
Uncovering the dynamics of enveloped virus assembly

Heng Xu, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Deciphering stochastic transcriptional regulation at the single-event level

Xin Zhang, Ph.D.
Scripps Research Institute
Scrutinizing the cellular and molecular mechanisms that create and maintain the functional proteome using chemical probes

Career Awards for Medical Scientists
Five year awards for physician scientists that provide $700,000 to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the early years of faculty service.  This award addresses the on-going decline of physician-scientists in academic research.

Theresa Alenghat, D.V.M., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Epigenomic regulation of the host-commensal relationship

Christina Eleanor Barkauskas, M.D.
Duke University
Epithelial-mesenchymal crosstalk in lung fibrosis and alveolar homeostasis

James Edward Cassat, M.D., Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Contribution of host and pathogen to altered bone homeostasis and bacterial survival during osteomyelitis

Kevin Jon Cheung, M.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Elucidating the Role of K14+ Leader Cells in Breast Cancer Invasion and Metastasis

Ethan Michael Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Analysis of circuit function informs novel therapeutic interventions in an epilepsy model

Malay Haldar, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Transcription factor SPI-C at the interface of iron homeostasis and innate immunity.

Marcin Imielinski, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Reconstructing complex loci in lung adenocarcinoma with large-insert whole genome sequencing

Jeffery M Klco, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Role of Notch Signaling in the Bone Marrow Stroma

Jason Knight, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Innate immunity in the pathogenesis of lupus and antiphospholipid vasculopathy

Anita Katherine McElroy, M.D., Ph.D.
Emory University School of Medicine
Defining the roles of CD4+ T cells in generating a protective immune response against Rift Valley fever virus

Sudarshan Rajagopal, M.D., Ph.D.
Duke University Medical Center
Dissecting Receptor Signaling Pathways in Pulmonary Hypertension

Sean Robinson Stowell, M.D., Ph.D.
Emory University School of Medicine
Elucidating Mechanisms of Innate Immunity Against Molecular Mimicry

Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
Five year awards that provide $500,000 for assistant level professors to study infectious disease pathogenesis with a focus on the intersection of human and microbial science.

Robert A. Cramer, Ph.D.
Dartmouth College
Bioenergetics and microbial pathogenesis sufficiency

Michael A.  Fischbach, Ph.D.
University of California-San Francisco
Novel microbiota-derived molecules that modulate the host immune response

De'Broski R. Herbert, Ph.D.
University of California-San Francisco
Trefoil factor proteins modulate host immunity against hookworms

Tobias M. Hohl, M.D., Ph.D.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Visualization and discovery of innate immune crosstalk that coordinates antifungal immunity

Alexei V. Korennykh, Ph.D.
Princeton University
Systems analysis of pathogen defense mediated by 2', 5'-linked isoRNA

Matthias Marti, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Cellular communication in malaria parasites

Erika L Pearce, D.Phil., Ph.D.
Washington University
Cellular metabolism in immunity to infection

Manuela Raffatellu, M.D.
University of California-Irvine
Characterization of novel populations of neutrophils during bacterial infection

Daniel B. Stetson, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Why do DNA viruses cause cancer?

Niraj H. Tolia, Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Molecular basis for and inhibition of red blood cell invasion by Plasmodium parasites

Victor J. Torres, Ph.D.
New York University School of Medicine
Staphylococcus aureus pore-forming toxins: leukocyte killing and beyond

Robert T.  Wheeler, Ph.D.
University of Maine
Phagocytes block fungal dimorphism to defend the epithelial barrier

Postdoctoral Enrichment Program
Provides $60,000 over three years to support the development of underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research.

Jonathan Abraham, M.D., Ph.D.,
Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Structural/Molecular basis for passive immunotherapy against Human Viral Hemorrhagic Fever

Albert Ernesto Almada, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Programming the muscle progenitor state

Irene Catherine Blat, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In vivo systems analysis of metaflammation in colorectal cancer

Oliver Isauro Fregoso, Ph.D.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Elucidating the role of the DNA damage response in lentiviral biology

Galo Garcia III
University of California-San Francisco
Elucidating the Role of the Transition Zone in Ciliary Diseases

Courtney Rory Goodwin, M.D., Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Phospho-proteomic profiling of metastatic breast cancer

Dennis Jones, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital
Functional Analysis of Lymph Node Metastases

Markita Patricia Landry, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Detection of Unlabeled Proteins from a Live Single Cell Using Synthetic Antibodies

Sonya Elina Neal, Ph.D.
University of California-San Diego
Discovering the machinery and mechanism of ERAD-M retrotranslocation

Adrianne Marie Rosales, Ph.D.
University of Colorado-Boulder
Role of Matrix Elasticity in Regulating Myofibroblast Activation of Valvular Interstitial Cells

Joshua Charles Saldivar, Ph.D.
Stanford University
DNA replication stress-induced primary cilia dysfunction in the formation of malignant breast cancer

Rosa Anna Uribe, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Functional analysis of enteric neural crest cell migration and development