"The Foundation is honored to help support some of the nation's most promising young scientists," says Robert A. Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Each recipient of the Keck Distinguished Young Scholar award has demonstrated extraordinary promise for breakthrough discovery and future academic leadership."
Initially established in 1998 as a five-year, $25 million initiative, the Keck Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research program was designed to support groundbreaking research addressing the fundamental mechanisms of human disease. The W.M. Keck Foundation Board renewed the program for an additional five years in 2003, bringing the total amount to be awarded up to $50 million by 2008. Under the program, each grant recipient's sponsoring institution receives an award of as much as $1 million to support the scientist's research activities for a period of five years. It is hoped that the investment in the Keck Scholars will greatly benefit society for generations to come with continued advances in understanding and combating the fundamental mechanisms of human disease.
The 2005 class of Distinguished Young Scholars are:
Lu Chen, Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Chen has developed a novel hybrid cell system to explore how signaling proteins interact at nerve synapses. A variety of experimental methods will control which proteins interact. Such research could point the way toward creating functional synapses that might reverse conditions such as age-related cognitive decline.
Brian Kuhlman, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel
Contact: Louise Weston
W. M. Keck Foundation