Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announces 2012 Harold M. Weintraub graduate student awardees

(Please see attached list for winners from your community and institution)

SEATTLE – March 5, 2012 – Thirteen graduate students from institutes throughout North America have been chosen to receive the 2012 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 4 at the Hutchinson Center consisting of scientific presentations by the awardees.

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 2012 Weintraub awardees follows. To receive a research summary and CV of any of the recipients, please contact Linsey Battan, Media Relations assistant, 206-667-5469 or <>. Digital photos of the awardees are available as well.

Kristen Woodward

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2012 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award Recipients

Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)

    Priyamvada Rajasethupathy (Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.)
    Ph.D. in neuroscience awarded in 2011

Georgetown University School of Medicine (Washington, D.C.)

    David Solomon, (Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio)
    Ph.D. candidate, tumor biology

Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)

    Itay Budin (Hometown: Newton, Mass.)
    Ph.D. candidate, biochemistry and physical biology

    Nicolas Chevrier (Hometown: Dijon, France)
    Ph.D. candidate, immunology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, Md.)

    Junjie U. Guo (Hometown: Guangzhou, China)
    Ph.D. in neuroscience awarded in 2011

    Christopher Shoemaker (Hometown: West Chester, Ohio)
    Ph.D. candidate, molecular biology and genetics

The Rockefeller University (New York, N.Y.)

    Johannes Scheid (Hometown: New York, N.Y.)
    M.D. /Ph.D. candidate, immunology

University of California, Berkeley

    Gregory Alushin (Hometown:  College Park, Md.)
    Ph.D. candidate, biophysics

University of California, San Francisco

    Feng-Yen Li (Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.)
    M.D./Ph.D. candidate, biomedical sciences

University of Colorado (Boulder)

    Jonathan Friedman (Hometown: Austin, Texas)
    Ph.D. candidate, molecular, cellular and developmental biology

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

    Beverly Piggott (Hometown: Janesville, Wis.)
    Ph.D. candidate, molecular and integrative physiology

University of Washington (Seattle)

    Summer Thyme (Hometown: Keene, N.H.)
    Ph.D. candidate, Biochemistry

University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle)

    Linda N. Geng (Hometown: Houston, Texas)
    Ph.D. molecular and cellular biology, M.D. candidate