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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announces 2011 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award recipients

SEATTLE — March 1, 2011 — Twelve graduate students from institutes throughout North America have been chosen to receive the 2011 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award sponsored by the Basic Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Nominations were solicited internationally; the winners were selected on the basis of the quality, originality and significance of their work.

The recipients, all advanced students at or near the completion of their studies in the biological sciences, will participate in a scientific symposium May 6 at the Hutchinson Center consisting of scientific presentations by the awardees.

The award, established in 2000, honors the late Harold M. Weintraub, Ph.D., a founding member of the Center’s Basic Sciences Division, who in 1995 died from brain cancer at age 49. Weintraub was an international leader in the field of molecular biology; among his many contributions, he identified genes responsible for instructing cells to differentiate, or develop, into specific tissues such as muscle and bone.

“Hal was one of the most outstanding scientists of his generation, as well as one of the most unpretentious. Hal had the knack of identifying the important questions in biology and designing experimental approaches that were creative, simple and elegant,” said Mark Groudine, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director the Hutchinson Center and a former friend and colleague of Weintraub.

“By nurturing colleagues, students and postdocs, and helping all of us become better scientists, Hal was instrumental in establishing the collegial atmosphere at the Hutchinson Center. We believe having a symposium recognizing the achievements of young scientists is a great way to honor Hal and the recipients of this award,” said Groudine, who was instrumental in establishing the award.

The award recipients will receive a certificate, travel expenses and an honorarium from the Weintraub and Groudine Fund, established to foster intellectual exchange through the promotion of programs for graduate students, fellows and visiting scholars.

Editor’s note: A complete list of 2011 Weintraub awardees follows. To receive a research summary and CV of any of the recipients, please contact Linsey Battan, Media Relations assistant, 206-667-5469 or <lbattan@fhcrc.org>. Digital photos of the awardees are available as well.

2011 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award Recipients

Brown University (Providence, R.I.)
Kevin Alby (Hometown: South Bend, Ind.)
Ph.D. candidate, pathobiology, biology and medicine

Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)
Jason Gorman (Hometown: Lakeville, Mass.)
Ph.D. candidate, biological sciences

Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
Kevin M. Esvelt (Hometown: Portland, Ore.)
Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology awarded in 2010

Harvard University/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)
Harry Benjamin Larman (Hometown: Portland, Maine)
Ph.D. candidate, medical engineering and medical physics

New York University Medical School (New York, N.Y.)
Gabriel D. Victora (Hometown: Porto Alegre, Brazil)
Ph.D. candidate, immunology

Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)
Kellen Olszewski (Hometown: Houston, TX)
Ph.D. candidate, molecular biology

Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.) 
Stephanie Weber (Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.)
Ph.D. candidate, biochemistry

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
Lacramioara Bintu (Hometown: Onesti, Romania)
Ph.D. in physics awarded in 2010

University of California, San Francisco (San Francisco, Calif.)
Lisa Rachel Racki (Hometown: Washington, DC)
Ph.D. candidate, biochemistry

University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada)
John Calarco (Hometown: Toronto, Canada)
Ph.D. candidate, molecular genetics

University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
Justin Siegel (Hometown:  Belmont, Calif.)
Ph.D. candidate, biochemistry (biomolecular structure and design)

Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
Paula Montero Llopis (Hometown: Madrid, Spain)
Ph.D. candidate, molecular, cellular and developmental biology       

MEDIA CONTACT
Kristen Woodward
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-5095
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit www.fhcrc.org.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.