Bee researcher at Arizona State University is 1 of 20 new Pew Scholars in the biomedical sciences

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Its hard to imagine, for most of us, that the bees we see buzzing between strands of orange flowers of the desert mallow could potentially usher in a medical breakthrough. However, in the right hands, these insects best known for their banded coloration, social life and skills with pollination could some day be the key to advancements in biomedical neuroscience of aging if Gro Amdam has her way, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Amdam, an assistant professor in Arizona State Universitys School of Life Sciences who heads social insect studies in laboratories at both ASU and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, is one of only 20 researchers chosen this year to enter the Trusts exclusive rolls as a Pew Scholar in the biomedical sciences. About 150 eligible colleges across the nation were invited to submit a candidate for the award this year. Remarkably, it was the first year that Arizona State University was invited to participate and Amdam was the sole candidate put forward by ASU President Michael M. Crow.

The focus of this award biomedical sciences is an evolving area of emphasis for ASU, says Crow. The fact that the award is going to a researcher using the honeybee as a biomedical model exemplifies the spirit of ASU unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries.

Robert Page, founding director of ASUs School of Life Sciences and Amdams oft-time collaborator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says he never had any doubt that the Pew Trusts would select Amdam, and that the award has special significance on several fronts: This the first year that ASU was invited to nominate, so it marks our initiation as an institution into this select club. The fact that our faculty member was chosen also shows that ASU belongs in the club. Then, when you consider that this award is in the area of biomedical science and will support research using honeybees it sho

Contact: Margaret Coulombe
Arizona State University

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