School of medicine

School Notes: School of Medicine
May/June 2014

Robert J. Alpern | http://medicine.yale.edu

Foundation honors geneticist’s ‘creative promise

The Vilcek Foundation has named Antonio J. Giraldez, associate professor of genetics, one of three recipients of the 2014 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, awards that recognize significant contributions to American science made by immigrants. Giraldez, born in Spain, studies how microRNAs (mRNAs) and other non-coding RNAs shape gene expression during embryonic development. Working with zebrafish, he and colleagues recently found that the mRNA family miR-430 is responsible for the clearance of maternal mRNAs, providing insight into the mechanisms of how mRNAs regulate gene expression. The Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science is awarded annually to three foreign-born scientists, age 38 or younger, for exceptional accomplishments early in their career. 

NIH grants support two Yale scientists

Two Yale scientists have been honored with National Institutes of Health (NIH) “High-Risk, High-Reward” Research Awards. Amy F. T. Arnsten, professor of neurobiology and psychology, received one of 12 NIH Pioneer Awards. The five-year, $2.5 million grant supports Arnsten’s research on the molecular vulnerabilities for disease in the brain’s highly evolved association cortex. Jason M. Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry and microbial pathogenesis, received the NIH director’s New Innovator Award—also a five-year, $2.5 million grant, awarded to early-career scientists pursuing highly promising lines of inquiry. The grant enables Crawford’s research on gut-dwelling bacteria that play a role in the development of colorectal cancer. The 2013 “High-Risk, High-Reward” grants total about $123 million and support more than 78 scientists.

Prominent hematologist joins Cancer Center

Yale Cancer Center (YCC) and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale–New Haven have appointed Steven D. Gore ’78, ’82MS, ’84MD, an internationally known hematologist, to be director of hematologic malignancies at Smilow Cancer Hospital (SCH). Gore comes to Yale from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was professor of oncology and a faculty member in the program in cellular and molecular medicine. “Dr. Gore’s national leadership on clinical trials for patients with leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes and focus on translational research will elevate our hematology program,” said Madhav V. Dhodapkar, the Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Medicine, professor of immunobiology, and chief of hematology at YCC and SCH.

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