FOCUS - August 2016

As summer comes to a close at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, there are still a few deadlines to consider.  See bwfund.org for complete details.  The Preterm Birth Initiative is now open and ready to accept applications.

  • Career Awards at the Scientific Interface - Deadline:  Sept. 6
  • Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers - Deadline:  Sept. 15
  • Career Awards for Medical Scientists - Deadline:  Oct. 3
  • Preterm Birth Initiative - Deadline:  Dec. 1.

In this issue of FOCUS, read about BWF researchers studying the Zika virus, listen to an audiocast with Pardis Sabeti, and learn about how N.C. teacher Andi Webb travels the world for education.

We, at the Fund, hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer.

The Zika virus has triggered worldwide concern as it spreads across the Americas, leaving thousands of cases of the severe birth defect microcephaly in its wake. Several BWF awardees are working hard to predict the path of Zika, understand how it infects human cells, and identify ways to combat its most devastating effects. Science writer Marla Broadfoot interviewed six of these researchers about their efforts to combat this enigmatic disease.

In this edition of FOCUS In Sound, we meet Dr. Pardis Sabeti, a geneticist who won a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences in 2005, and has gone on to enjoy a distinguished career, culminating this year in being named one of the 100 Most Influential People in America by TIME magazine.  That recognition follows her inclusion as one of TIME’s Persons of the Year in 2014, celebrating her role as an Ebola fighter.  Although Pardis has a long list of accomplishments in her years of research on the genetics of infectious diseases, for this edition of Focus In Sound we want to concentrate on the incredible story of her work on Ebola. 

When educators create a positive emotional climate in the classroom, where children feel safe—both physically and emotionally—almost anything can happen.  That’s the general philosophy of Andi Webb, a math coach at Alderman Road Elementary School in Fayetteville, N.C., and recipient of the 2015 Career Award for Science and Mathematic Teachers from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.