Hopkins' Young Investigators' Day winners shine in the spotlight

"When I was a medical student in China, I noticed a leukemia patient listening to his small radio every morning when we did rounds. One day, his roommate died. The next morning, the young man, with his radio in his hand, asked me, Do you know why I am always listening? I wish one morning, when I wake up, the radio will tell me somebody found the cure. Then I won't have to worry that one morning soon I won't wake up at all.' I felt so powerless at that moment; I realized the only people who could keep his hopes alive are the scientists." Jun Xia, Young Investigators' Day winner.

"I can go to the lab every morning and, to a great extent, have autonomy over which intellectual and experimental path I want to follow. It stuns me that I get paid to do this." Mike Hemann, Young Investigators' Day winner.

Winners of the Johns Hopkins Young Investigators' awards cite different reasons for becoming scientists, but have in common a knack for elegant research, a keen discipline to see it through and an unusual ability to communicate what they're doing.

For the past 23 years, The Hopkins School of Medicine has sponsored Young Investigators' Day, a sophisticated science fair for grown-ups, recognizing promising pre- and postdoctoral investigators in the School of Medicine well before most of them could tap sources of acclaim open to more established scientists.

This year, Young Investigators' Day is Thursday, April 12, with an awards ceremony from 4 p.m. to 6p.m. in the Mountcastle Auditorium of the Preclinical Teaching Building on the East Baltimore campus.

Winners of the 14 awards typically go on to head their own labs at Hopkins or other high-rank research institutions. Their work is often seminal, both in basic science and in the "translational" research that becomes therapy. A technique developed by Hai Yan, M.D., Ph.D., winner of this year's Daniel Nathans Award, for example, sidesteps a major problem in screening for human gen

Contact: Marjorie Centofanti
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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