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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Announces 2004 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Awardees

SEATTLE — Mar. 1, 2004 — Seventeen graduate students from the United States and Canada have been chosen to receive the 2004 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 7-8 at Fred Hutchinson. The symposium will include scientific presentations by the awardees as well as poster presentations by Fred Hutchinson graduate students.

The award, established in 2000, honors the late Harold M. Weintraub, Ph.D., a founding member of Fred Hutchinson'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., director of the center's Basic Sciences Division.

"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," Groudine said.

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 2004 Weintraub awardees follows. To receive a faxed research summary and CV of any of the recipients, please contact Kristen Woodward in Fred Hutchinson Media Relations, (206) 667-5095 or Photos of most of the awardees are available as well.


2004 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award Recipients

Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, N.Y.)
Don Gibbons (hometown: San Antonio, Texas)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program, Department of Cell Biology

Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas)
Jun Zhang* (hometown: Tianjin, P.R. China)
Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology awarded in January 2004

Boston University (Boston, Mass.)
Martin Cornelius Frith (hometown: N/A)
Ph.D. in Bioinformatics awarded in January 2004

Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)
Anatoly Nikolaev (hometown: Moscow, Russia)
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Pathology, Institute of Cancer Genetics

Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, Mass.)
David M. Langenau (hometown: Williamston, Mich.)
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Pathology, Biology and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, Wash.)
Thomas G. Fazzio (hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah)
Ph.D. candidate, Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate program (a joint program of Fred Hutchinson and the University of Washington School of Medicine)

Michael Andres McMurray (hometown: Bryan, Texas)
Ph.D., candidate, Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate program (a joint program of Fred Hutchinson and the University of Washington School of Medicine)

Harvard University (Boston, Mass.)
Ava Brent (hometown: New York, N.Y.)
Ph.D. candidate, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Franziska Lucia Michor (hometown: Vienna, Austria)
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Program for Evolutionary Dynamics

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, Md.)
Jose L. Avalos (hometown: Mexico City, Mexico)
Ph.D. candidate, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology

Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
Elio Aaron Abbondanzieri (hometown: Webster, N.Y.)
Ph.D. candidate, Applied Physics, Department of Biological Sciences

The Rockefeller University (New York, N.Y.)
Paul Cohen (hometown: Worcester, Mass.)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, The Rockefeller University and Weill Medical College

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
Zev Bryant (hometown: Vancouver, B.C., Canada)
Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology awarded in December 2003

University of Michigan Medical School (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Genevieve Kruger (hometown: Los Alamos, New Mexico)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program and Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology

University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Vasiliki Anest (hometown: San Diego, Calif.)
Ph.D. candidate, Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Paul Jorgensen (hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada)
Ph.D. candidate, Medical Genetics and Microbiology

University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
Jason David Fontenot (hometown: Ville Platte, La.)
Ph.D. in Immunology awarded in December 2003

Media Contact
Kristen Woodward
(206) 667-5095

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of two Nobel Prize laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Fred Hutchinson receives more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other independent U.S. research center. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, the University of Washington Academic Medical Center and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 38 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's Web site at