Biomedical scientists from Russia to Rio to explore biology's frontiers at HHMI in June

Scientists who work in a Russian science city, the Amazon jungle, Canadian hospitals and other settings around the world, will gather in Maryland on June 20-23 to discuss their research on topics ranging from the genetic origins of cancer to the molecular bases of parasitic diseases.

The biomedical scientists from 16 countries are all International Research Scholars of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. They will meet as a group for the first time at HHMI's headquarters in Chevy Chase. The meeting provides a forum for both technical presentations and discussions about how researchers in different parts of the world might work together more effectively.

HHMI's new president, Thomas Cech, opens the meeting with a keynote address on Tuesday evening. Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, leads a discussion on the evening of Wednesday, June 21, about US initiatives to foster international scientific collaboration.

Although the scientists have gathered before at regional meetings -- in Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Moscow, and in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro -- this will be the first time they will come together in a single place. Neuroscientists from Argentina and Hungary will meet, for example, as will geneticists from Mexico and Poland.

Since 1991, HHMI has awarded $53 million in five-year grants to support the work of outstanding biomedical scientists at their own institutions. In 1995, it awarded five-year grants totaling $15 million to support the research of 90 scientists from Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Estonia, Belarus and Latvia. In 1997, it awarded another $15 million for 47 scientists from Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Venezuela. In many cases, the grants have enabled outstanding scientists to carry out research in the face of difficult economic conditions, providing critical funds for supplies, the support of graduate students, travel to meetin

Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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