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The Making of Medicine

Helping Researchers Do Great Work

In addition to doing science, researchers spend a lot of time and effort trying to get funding to do their science. A program at the School of Medicine is changing that for some faculty who are doing exciting work.

The Pinn Scholars program is named for Vivian Pinn, MD, whom I previously told you about here. Dr. Pinn graduated from the School of Medicine in 1967 as the only woman and the only minority in her class. She went on to do many great things, including becoming the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. The program named in her honor is designed to help mid-level faculty do great things as well, by providing them funding for their research so that they can devote their time to science and not applying for grants.

The first class of Pinn Scholars, announced last year, consisted of Brant Isakson, PhD; Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD; Gordon W. Laurie, PhD; and Jochen Zimmer, PhD. The researchers updated their colleagues on their work at a symposium yesterday, and then this year’s recipients were announced:

Alison K. Criss, PhD, who is investigating how gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease, resists the immune system’s efforts to kill it;
Scott K. Heysell, MD, who is developing new ways to improve outcomes of tuberculosis treatment;
Benjamin W. Purow, MD, who is seeking to maximize the potential benefits of immunotherapy for patients with glioblastoma (a form of brain cancer) by combining that treatment with focused ultrasound; and
Jeffrey J. Saucerman, PhD, who is working on regeneration of heart tissue.
Congratulations to the recipients. May the awards speed their work.


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