News Release

Pew grants 22 young scientists support for biomedical research

Grant and Award Announcement

Pew Charitable Trusts

Philadelphia—Twenty-two outstanding early-career researchers were named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The scholars—whose fields of study range from genetics to neuroscience to biophysics—will receive flexible funding to investigate some of the world's most pressing health problems. They join a community of more than 500 Pew scholars whose ranks include multiple recipients of Nobel Prizes, Lasker Awards, and MacArthur Fellowships.

"Pew has supported scientific innovation through its scholars program for 29 years. Time and again, this investment has fueled groundbreaking discoveries that hold the promise of better health for millions of people," said Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of Pew. "We are pleased to welcome the newest class of scholars to a community that continues to yield extraordinary findings in the field of bioscience."

Launched in 1985, Pew's scholars program supports top U.S. scientists at the assistant professor level. Scholars receive funding over four years to seed innovation at the start of their independent research careers.

Scholars are selected based on proven creativity by a national advisory committee composed of eminent scientists, including chairman Craig C. Mello, Ph.D., a 1995 Pew scholar and a 2006 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine.

"Scientific breakthroughs often come from seemingly unlikely origins, which is why it's so important to give young scientists the freedom and the support they need to pursue their most creative ideas," said Mello. "It is our privilege to help these outstanding investigators pursue new research paths and work with peers across disciplines in order to advance biomedical science and ultimately benefit human health."

In addition to the scholars program, Pew oversees the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences , which has provided young Latin American scientists with the opportunity to receive postdoctoral training in the United States since 1991. This year, Pew and the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust launched a new national initiative, The Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research.

The 2014 Pew biomedical scholars are:

Erik Andersen, Ph.D.
Northwestern University
Genetics and genomics

Maria Barna, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Developmental biology

Kevin Briggman, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health

Anne Churchland, Ph.D.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

James Fraser, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco

Jesse Gatlin, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming
Cell biology

Lindsey Glickfeld, Ph.D.
Duke University

Jesse Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Cornell University
Systems neuroscience

Catherine Grimes, Ph.D.
University of Delaware
Chemical biology

Chris Hittinger, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Evolutionary genomics

Robert Johnston, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Developmental neurobiology

Jeremy Kay, Ph.D.
Duke University
Neurobiology and vision

Brian Kelch, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Structural biology and biochemistry

Matthew Kennedy, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, School of Medicine

Gabriel Lander, Ph.D.
The Scripps Research Institute
Structural biology

Yunsun Nam, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Biochemistry, biophysics, and RNA biology

Sabine Petry, Ph.D.
Princeton University
Cell biology, biochemistry, and structural biology

Prashanth Rangan, Ph.D.
University at Albany, The State University of New York
Developmental genetics and biophysics

Michael Rust, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Systems biology

Mohammad Seyedsayamdost, Ph.D.
Princeton University
Chemical biology

Elçin Ünal, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Germ cell biology

Jing-Ke Weng, Ph.D.
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Chemical biology

For the scholars' full abstracts and more information about the program, please visit


The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Learn more at

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