Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Announces 2006 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Awardees

SEATTLE — Mar. 20, 2006 — Sixteen graduate students from North America and Asia have been chosen to receive the 2006 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 5-6 at the Hutchinson Center. The symposium will include scientific presentations by the awardees as well as poster presentations by Hutchinson Center graduate students.

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 2006 Weintraub awardees follows. To receive a faxed research summary and CV of any of the recipients, please contact Carly Michener, Media Relations assistant, (206) 667-5469 or Digital photos of most of the awardees are available as well.


2006 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award Recipients

Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.)
Ying Peng (hometown: Jingzhou, China) *
Ph.D. in biophysics and structural biology awarded in 2005

Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)
Ryan Phan
(hometown: HoChiMinh City, Vietnam) *
Ph.D. with Distinction awarded in October 2005 (College of Physicians & Surgeons)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Harvard Medical School)

Cornell University (New York, N.Y.)
Ryan Heller (hometown: Sound Beach, N.Y.) *
Ph.D. candidate, molecular biology (Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences)

Harvard University (Boston, Mass.)
Brenda Bloodgood
(hometown: San Diego, Calif.)
Ph.D. candidate, neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, Md.)
Curtis Chong
(hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, pharmacology (School of Medicine)

Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)
Liang Feng
(hometown: Sichuan Province, China) *
Ph.D. candidate, molecular biology

Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
David Altman
(hometown: Bath, Ohio) *
Ph.D. candidate, physics (School of Medicine)

Takaki Komiyama (hometown: Tokyo, Japan) *
Ph.D. candidate, neuroscience, Department of Biological Sciences & Neurosciences Program

Seoul National University (Seoul, Korea) *
Yoontae Lee
(hometown: Seoul, Korea)
Ph.D. candidate (School of Biological Sciences)

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
Sophie Dumont
(hometown: St. Agapit, Quebec, Canada)
Ph.D. in biophysics awarded in December 2005

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Denver, Colo.) *
Melissa Adkins
(hometown: Orlando, Fla.)
Ph.D. candidate, biochemistry

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) *
Anna Molofsky
(hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.)
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program (Medical School) and Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (Rackham Graduate School)

Daniel Rhodes (hometown: Jenison, Mich.) *
M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program (Medical School) and Bioinformatics Program and Cancer Biology Training Program

University of Oregon (Eugene, Ore.) *
Sarah Siegrist
(hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio)
Ph.D. candidate, biology (Institute of Molecular Biology)

University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, Wash.) *
Benjamin Pinsky
(hometown: Farmington Hills, Mich.)
Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology awarded in June 2005
M.D. candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program

Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
Tomomi Tsubouchi
(hometown: Onoda city, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan)
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

*Photos of these winners are available upon request

Media Contacts
Kristen Woodward
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-5095

# # #

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