Dr. Sara Sawyer, a postdoctoral fellow in the Basic Sciences Division, is the recipient of a 2006 Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences. The $500,000 award funds up to two years of postdoctoral research and three years of independent research at an academic institution.
Sawyer, who works in the lab of Dr. Harmit Malik, studies the interaction between viruses and their hosts and is attempting to identify new host genes that might protect against viral infection. She utilizes a non-traditional approach to finding such genes, seeking out special types of evolutionary signatures predicted to be left in the DNA sequence of infection-fighting host genes.
Fund fosters development
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, an independent private foundation, is committed to fostering the development of new academic biomedical scientists. By providing 22 annual awards to help bridge the gap between the postdoctoral and early faculty years, they hope to bolster the careers of the most promising up and coming scientists. "The award will fund my transition to running my own lab," Sawyer said.