News Releases

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Announces 2005 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Awardees

SEATTLE — Mar. 1, 2005 — Fifteen graduate students from the United States and Canada have been chosen to receive the 2005 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 6-7 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., deputy director of Fred Hutchinson 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 2005 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 Digital photos of most of the awardees are available as well.


2005 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award Recipients

Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas)
Fernando D. Camargo (hometown: Arequipa, Peru)
Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology awarded in December 2004

Carnegie Institution of Washington (Baltimore, Md.)
Alice E. Chen (hometown: Rowland Heights, Calif.)
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Biology, The Johns Hopkins University

Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)
Robert J. Johnston Jr. (hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.)
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics.

David Sayah (hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.)
Ph.D. awarded in December 2004; M.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program and Department of Microbiology

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.)
Zachary B. Lippman (hometown: Milford, Conn.)
Ph.D. awarded in December 2004 from the Watson School of Biological Sciences (focus on genetics and molecular biology)

Harvard University (Boston, Mass.)
Irene A. Chen (hometown: San Diego, Calif.)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program and Program in Biophysics and Health Sciences and Technology (Harvard/Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Joshua James Gooley (hometown: Champlain, N.Y.)
Ph.D. candidate, Program in Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, Md.)
Jeffrey S. Han (hometown: Butler, Pa.)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
Pamela F. Colosimo (hometown: Clifton, N.J.)
Ph.D. in developmental biology awarded in January 2005

The Rockefeller University (New York, N.Y.)
Vanessa Ruta (hometown: New York, N.Y.)
Ph.D. candidate, Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics

University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, Mass.)
Dianne S. Schwarz (hometown: Ontario, N.Y.)
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

University of Oregon (Eugene, Ore.)
Bret J. Pearson (hometown: Denver, Colo.)
Ph.D. candidate, Institutes of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience

University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Amy Hin Yan Tong (hometown: Hong Kong, China)
Ph.D. awarded in January 2005, Banting and Best Department of Medical Research

Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, Mo.)
Ingrid Elizabeth Wertz (hometown: Sacramento, Calif.)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program and Physiology Graduate Group, University of California, Davis

Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
Elissa A. Hallem (hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.)
Ph.D. candidate, Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program and Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Media Contact
Kristen Woodward
(206) 667-5095

# # #

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of three Nobel laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical research 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 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 40 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's Web site at