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The Making of Medicine

HHMI Honors Our Jochen Zimmer With $9 Million

Congratulations to our Jochen Zimmer, PhD, for a wonderful recognition from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the nation's largest biomedical research institution. HHMI has selected him as one of only 33 new Investigators from a pool of more than 800 applicants. This is one of the highest honors a biomedical scientist can receive, and it comes with $9 million in funding over seven years.

In selecting Investigators, HHMI focuses on people over projects. The Institute looks for researchers with transformative potential -- people who could radically change how we think about biology, human health and diseases. Thirty-two current or former HHMI Investigators have won the Nobel Prize.

Professor Zimmer, of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biomedical Physics, will use the HHMI funding to support his studies of the transport of biopolymers across biological membranes. This work may one day help us develop new biomaterials for medicines, food, and energy — potentially offering solutions to combat disease, fight hunger and reduce the effects of climate change. He is but the second HHMI Investigator from UVA, and the first in more than two decades.

K. Craig Kent, MD, the Chief Executive Officer of UVA Health and UVA’s Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, joined Melina Kibbe, MD, the Dean of the School of Medicine and UVA Health’s Chief Health Affairs Officer, in expressing “incredible pride” in Professor Zimmer's recognition.

“By dedicating himself to the pursuit and expansion of knowledge, Jochen represents the best of the UVA School of Medicine and the global reach of our life-saving research. This achievement exemplifies all the excellent research happening at UVA Health and our growth as one of the nation's top academic health systems,” they wrote in a statement. “This is an amazing accomplishment, and we should all be proud.”

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