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HHMI awards $19 million to Latin American, Canadian scientists

Thirty-nine outstanding scientists in Latin America and Canada have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholars. Each will receive a five-year award totaling nearly $500,000.

The competitive awards recognize the accomplishments and promise of biomedical researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. They also help build the research capacity of countries that have a strong tradition of science but insufficient resources to adequately support world-class research, by supporting scientific leaders and strengthening their research institutions.

"This is the 15th anniversary of HHMI's international program, which began in 1991 with awards to outstanding scientists in our closest neighboring countries, Mexico and Canada," said Thomas R. Cech, president of the Institute. "The program has grown five-fold and now supports outstanding researchers in 28 countries, including Canada and five Latin American nations. The research these scientists are doing compares favorably to the research conducted by accomplished investigators in the United States."

The new HHMI international research scholars were chosen from 546 applicants from eight countries. Twenty-one of those selected have received previous international research scholar awards from the Institute.

"These scientists are recognized pacesetters in their fields," noted Peter J. Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. For example:

  • Alejandro Schinder, a neuroscientist from Argentina, studies how neurons, or nerve cells, develop in the adult brain. His research has helped reveal striking similarities between the way the brain develops and the way it stores knowledge, and could enable scientists to find ways to rewire the brain to restore the function of neurons lost to injury or neurodegenerative disease. This is his first international research award from HHMI.
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
aisenc@hhmi.org
317-843-2276
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
1-Nov-2006


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