Newswise — SEATTLE — March 1, 2018 — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has announced the 2018 recipients of the annual Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in graduate studies in the biological sciences. 

Nominations for this prestigious award are solicited internationally. This year’s 13 awardees come from the University of Vienna and across the United States — from Harvard Medical School to Stanford University. Their diverse research studies include how flu evolves, the impact of sleep on the brain, and the biological mechanisms that maintain HIV infection.

Named for the Hutch’s Dr. Harold Weintraub, the award honors his scientific leadership in the field of molecular biology and his legacy as an extraordinary mentor, colleague, collaborator and friend. Weintraub helped found the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and died of brain cancer in 1995 at age 49. Since the award began in 2000, there have been a total of 264 recipients, including this year’s honorees. 

“Hal was one of the most outstanding scientists of his generation, as well as one of the most unpretentious,” said Dr. Mark Groudine, molecular biologist and special adviser to the Director’s Office at Fred Hutch. “Hal had the knack of identifying the important questions in biology and designing experimental approaches that were creative, simple and elegant. The Weintraub Award not only honors Hal’s scientific leadership but also his passion for supporting scientists at the very beginning of their careers.” 

The awards will be presented May 4 at a scientific symposium at the Hutch. At that time, awardees will present findings from their respective research projects. 

2018 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award recipients:

Nicholas Bodnar
Ph.D., Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Harvard Medical School

James Samuel Byers
Ph.D., Developmental Biology
Stanford University 

Lillian Brumer Cohn
Ph.D., Molecular Biology
The Rockefeller University 

Eric Van Dang
Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, Immunology Program
University of California, San Francisco 

Fahim Farzadfard
Ph.D., Microbiology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Danielle Grotjahn
Ph.D., Integrative Structural and Computational Biology
The Scripps Research Institute 

Kamena Kostova
Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences
University of California, San Francisco 

Adam George Larson
Ph.D., Tetrad Program (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology and Genetics)
University of California, San Francisco 

Jackson Liang
Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Stanford University 

Claudio L. Morales-Pérez
Ph.D., Neuroscience and Biophysics/Molecular Biophysics
UT Southwestern Medical Center 

Annika Nichols
Ph.D., Cognition, Behavior and Neuroscience
IMP/ Vienna Biocenter/University of Vienna 

Niladri K. Sinha
Ph.D., Biological Chemistry
University of Utah 

Katherine Xue
Ph.D., Genome Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington 

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Photos of awardees are available upon request.

Media Contact:

Molly McElroy                                                
[email protected]     

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.


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