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Washington University's Sarah Elgin is re-funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute

St. Louis, Mo. Sarah C. R. Elgin, Ph.D., professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, named a 'Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor' in 2002, is one of eight scientists to have her original grant funding renewed in 2006. In 2002, Elgin was one of 20 'million dollar professors' to get funding when HHMI announced the program. Recently, HHMI announced the awarding of 20 new such professorships in 2006, in addition to renewal funding to help eight of the 2002 group find ways to sustain the parts of their programs that worked best and to disseminate them to the broader community of science educators.

Elgin was renewed for $700,000 over four years beginning in 2006. The renewal is focused at the college/university level, and is centered on an effort to make Biology 4342, Research Explorations in Genomics, accessible to students and faculty at other schools. Elgin will direct a workshop this June on the acclaimed course, which provides junior and senior undergraduates the opportunity to work as a research team on a large-scale gene sequencing project , beginning with sample preparation at Washington University's Genome Sequencing Center (GSC) through sequence finishing and analysis. Bio 4342 is taught collaboratively with Elaine Mardis from the GSC and Jeremy Buhler from Computer Sciences.

"The scientists whom we have selected are true pioneers not only in their research, but in their creative approaches and dedication to teaching " says HHMI President Thomas R. Cech. "We are hopeful that their educational experiments will energize undergraduate science education throughout the nation."

Cech is a biochemist who continued teaching undergraduates at the University of Colorado at Boulder even after he won a Nobel Prize.

"The HHMI professors are as excited about teaching as they are about research, and it definitely rubs off on their students," said Peter Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special pr
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Contact: Tony Fitzpatrick
tony_fitzpatrick@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
24-Apr-2006


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