Tobin Named Searle Scholar for 2012

June 21, 2012

Durham NC — David Tobin, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, is one of 15 researchers in the chemical and biological sciences to be named as a 2012 Searle Scholar. Each will be awarded $300,000 to support his or her work during the next three years. Since the program’s inception in 1980, 497 Searle Scholars have shared more than $102,142,500 in grants. This year, 186 applications were considered from recently appointed assistant professors, nominated by 125 universities and research institutions. The final selection of scholars was based on recommendations made by the program’s Scientific Advisory Board consisting of 12 scientists distinguished for their research and leadership across a wide range of fields.

In selecting the Scholars, the Scientific Advisory Board looked for scientists who have already demonstrated innovative research with the potential for making significant contributions to chemical and biological research over an extended period of time.

“The new Searle Scholars have in common that they are bold enough to embark on high-risk projects that offer the promise of leading to major advances in the basic sciences and to a deeper understanding of such scourges as tuberculosis, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and atherosclerosis. It is with the highest possible enthusiasm that we welcome them into the community of Searle Scholars,” said Scientific Director Doug Fambrough.

The funds that support the awards come from trusts established under the wills of John G. and Frances C. Searle. Mr. Searle was President of G.D. Searle & Co., of Skokie, Illinois, a research-based pharmaceutical company. Mr. and Mrs. Searle expressed the wish that some of the proceeds of their estates be used for the support of research in medicine, chemistry, and the biological sciences.

In 1980, members of the Searle family acting as Consultants to the Trustees of the Trusts established under the wills of Mr. & Mrs. John G. Searle recommended the development of a program of support for young biomedical scientists. This idea evolved into the Searle Scholars Program which is funded through grants from the family trusts to the Chicago Community Trust and administered by Kinship Foundation in Chicago, Illinois.

A list of the 2012 Scholars, including the titles of their research projects and the names of the institution that will administer the awards follows:

Emily P. Balskus
Harvard University
Synthetic Chemistry in the Presence of Living Systems

Jesse D. Bloom
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Antigenic Evolvability of Influenza Hemagglutinin

Clifford P. Brangwynne
Princeton University
Scaling Nucleolar Function for Cell Growth Control

Mark M. Churchland
Columbia University
A Dynamical Systems Approach to Fundamental Questions in Neuroscience

Elissa A. Hallem
University of California, Los Angeles
The Cellular and Molecular Basis of Carbon Dioxide Response in Nematodes

Daniel J. Kronauer
The Rockefeller University
Genes, Individuals, Societies: A Multi-layered Approach to the Study of Social Insects

Katja A. Lamia
The Scripps Research Institute
Integration of Mammalian Metabolism and Circadian Rhythms

Gaby Maimon
The Rockefeller University
From Sensation to Action in Drosphila

Cristopher M. Niell
University of Oregon
Neural Circuits and Computations Underlying Visual Processing in the Mouse Cortex

Daniel K. Nomura
University of California, Berkeley
Mapping Dysregulated Metabolic Pathways in Cancer and Inflammatory Diseases

Daniel M. Rosenbaum
University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
Mechanisms of Integral Membrane Signaling Proteins Involved in Human Disease

Susumu Takahashi
University of Southern California
Single-molecule Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

David M. Tobin
Duke University
Developmental Pathways Mediating the Granuloma, the Central Structure of Tuberculosis

Miguel A. Zaratiegui-Biurrun
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
The Replication of Heterochromatin: Epigenetic Inheritance and Genome Stability

Feng Zhang
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Reverse Engineering: the Epigenetic Substrates of Memory

Source: Searle Scholars Program