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Fred Hutch announces 2022 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award recipients

Thirteen graduate students selected for prestigious award in biological sciences

SEATTLE — March 1, 2022 — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has announced the 2022 recipients of the annual Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in graduate studies in biological sciences.

Nominations are solicited internationally for this prestigious annual award. This year’s 13 recipients come from across the U.S. — from the University of Michigan and the University of New Mexico to Harvard University and Vanderbilt University – and internationally, with one recipient from Austria. The awardees study a range of biological topics including rapid evolution in fungi, metabolic determinents of cell identity, structures of animal behavior via deep learning and neuroimmune interactions in zebrafish.

“The Weintraub award recipients were selected for the quality, originality and significance of their work, representing a diverse range of research topics,” said Dr. Susan Parkhurst, who chairs the award committee and is a professor in the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutch. “We commend this year’s awardees for their extraordinary skills and outstanding achievements as scientists, as well as their potential for making lasting contributions to their scientific fields.”

The Weintraub Award began in 2000. In the 23 years of its existence, the award has been given to a total of 315 awardees, including this year’s recipients. It’s named for  Dr. Harold “Hal” Weintraub, who helped found the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and died of brain cancer in 1995 at age 49. The award honors Weintraub’s scientific leadership in the field of molecular biology and his legacy as an extraordinary mentor, colleague, collaborator and friend.

“Hal was an amazing scientist and mentor. He pushed himself and his colleagues to question the foundations of our knowledge, to discover new ways of understanding biology and establishing new paradigms. Most importantly, he conveyed this passion to his trainees and the Weintraub Award continues his legacy of challenging us all to do our best science,” said Dr. Stephen Tapscott, a professor in the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutch and a longtime friend and postdoctoral student of Weintraub’s.

The award is supported by the Weintraub/Groudine Fellowship for Science and Human Disease, which was established to foster intellectual exchange through the promotion of programs for graduate students, fellows and visiting scholars.

2022 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award recipients:

Paige Arnold

Ph.D., cancer biology

Memorial Sloan Kettering


Amira Barkal

Ph.D., stem cell biology and regenerative medicine

Stanford University School of Medicine


Brianna Duncan-Lowey

Ph.D., virology

Harvard University


Chenyi Fei

Ph.D., quantitative and computational biology

Princeton University


Sanne Eveline Klompe

Ph.D., cellular, molecular and biomedical studies

Columbia University


Aurora Kraus

Ph.D., biology

University of New Mexico


Jaeeon Lee

Ph.D., neurobiology/neuroscience

Harvard University


Abhijit Parolia

Ph.D., molecular and cellular pathology

University of Michigan


Katarzyna Parys

Ph.D., molecular biology

Gregor Mendel Institute of Plant Molecular Biology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences


Talmo Pereira

Ph.D., neuroscience

Princeton University


Jacob L. Steenwyk

Ph.D., biology

Vanderbilt University


Sarah Valente

Ph.D., molecular and cellular biology

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


Bo Xia

Ph.D., biomedical sciences

NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Photos of award recipients and more information on their projects are available – contact

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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.