Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center graduate students earn National Science Foundation fellowships

Jennifer Whiddon, Kris Blair, of the joint Fred Hutch/University of Washington Molecular and Cellular Biology program, garner three-year predoctoral research awards
Group photo
Human Biology Division's Jennifer Whiddon, Tapscott Lab, and Kris Blair, Salama Lab Photo by Bo Jungmayer

Two Hutchinson Center graduate students recently received three-year graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Both are part of the joint Fred Hutch/University of Washington Molecular and Cellular Biology program. A microbiology student at Fred Hutch received an honorable mention from NSF.

The fellowship recipients include the Human Biology Division's Kris Blair of the Salama Lab and Jennifer Whiddon in the Tapscott Lab. An honorable mention went to Kathryn Semmens of Human Biology's Geballe Lab.

"The NSF graduate fellowship is very competitive and very prestigious for graduate students," said Human Biology's Dr. Michael Emerman, co-director of the MCB program. "Getting an NSF fellowship is a great honor for both our students and for our graduate program.

"The fellowship is based on both science and on the applicant's contributions to society. So, the NSF reviewers are looking for people who are both at the very top in science, but are also engaged in scientific discourse with the public, teaching or helping underprivileged students achieve their goals, or other things that ensure that graduate students use their position to play a role in the greater good," he said.

The students receive a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose. NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by American colleges and universities.
Established in 1952, the fellowship program is NSF's oldest program. It has supported more than 45,800 students in pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. Among its alumni are more than 40 Nobel Laureates, 450 members of the National Academy of Sciences, thousands of science and engineering faculty, and many notable individuals in industry, government and the nonprofit sector.

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