One of the nation's largest philanthropies and a leading supporter of medical research has awarded Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine a $3 million, four-year grant to boost its recruitment efforts for new research faculty.
The grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, will allow the medical school to support a major initiative in structural biology which will serve as a crucial underpinning for development of its research programs in the next century.
The structural biology field is emerging with a set of powerful tools, such as nuclear magnetic resonance and x- ray crystallography, for studying biologic and disease processes at the molecular level.
With the grant, the medical school will recruit four researchers in the area of structural biology to work under the direction of Michael Weiss, a leading authority in the field and the new chair of biochemistry at CWRU.
As the Human Genome Project's initial phase nears completion and provides a map of all human genes, structural biologists will work to unravel the steps that occur on a molecular level that lead from genes to proteins, to cells, to organisms and disease. Their work will have broad applications in diabetes, cancer, aging, and human development.
In addition, two researchers will be recruited into the Department of Genetics, chaired by Huntington F. Willard III. With one of the strongest genetic departments in the nation, the School of Medicine is well-poised to gain a greater understanding of genes in complex biological processes in health and disease.
Two researchers will also be recruited in the Department of Neurosciences, chaired by Lynn Landmesser, a well-recognized leader in developmental neuroscience. The School of Medicine has committed to move the department into a new level of excellence and will seek to take advantage of the power of genetics for understanding the nervous system.