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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Announces 2014 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award Winners

Awardees selected on basis of quality, originality and significance of their work

Released: 10-Mar-2014 3:30 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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Newswise — SEATTLE – Thirteen graduate students from institutes throughout North America have been chosen to receive the 2014 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 2 at Fred Hutch consisting of scientific presentations by the awardees.

The award, established in 2000, honors Harold M. Weintraub, Ph.D., a founding member of the Hutch’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 2014 Weintraub awardees follows. CVs and research summaries of each student’s project are available upon request. Digital photos of most of the awardees are available as well.

2014 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award Recipients
California Institute of Technology (Pasadena)
• Hidehiko Inagaki
Ph.D. candidate, biology
Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
• Daniel Hochbaum
Ph.D. candidate, engineering/applied sciences/applied physics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)
• Liron Bar-Peled
Ph.D., biology

Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
• Kipp Weiskopf
Ph.D. candidate, stem cell biology/regenerative medicine/cancer biology

The Rockefeller University (New York, N.Y.)
• Nora Pencheva
Ph.D. candidate, molecular biology

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley)

• Sarah Wilson
Ph.D. candidate, molecular and cell biology

University of Massachusetts

• Colin Conine
Ph.D. candidate, molecular biology and genetics

• Emma Watson
Ph.D. candidate, systems biology

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

• Swathi Yadlapalli
Ph.D. candidate, cell and developmental biology

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas)

• Jiaxi Wu
Ph.D. candidate, genetics and development

University of Washington (Seattle)

• Andrew Adey
Ph.D., molecular and cellular biology

• Alistair Russell
Ph.D. candidate, microbiology

• Andrew Stergachis
Ph.D. candidate, genome sciences

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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 with minimal side effects. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first and largest 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. Private contributions are essential for enabling Fred Hutch scientists to explore novel research opportunities that lead to important medical breakthroughs. For more information visit or follow Fred Hutch on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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