The Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation in New York awarded 18 Runyon-Winchell postdoctoral fellowships to outstanding young scientists conducting theoretical and experimental research relevant to the study of the causes, mechanisms, therapies, and prevention of cancer. Among the 18 recipients, who were selected at the November 2000 Scientific Advisory Committee review, are two young scientists who will conduct their research at the University – Kathryn M. Koeller, and Mohammad Movassaghi. The three-year fellowships are carried out in the laboratories of the fellows’ sponsors.
Koeller’s research, “A genomic approach to class II histone deacetylase function: control of cellular localization and the resulting transcriptional status of the cell,” will be sponsored by Stuart L. Schreiber. Mohammad Movassaghi’s research, “Catalytic asymmetric total synthesis of a potent antitumor agent, cryptophycin A,” will be sponsored by Eric N. Jacobsen.
During the 55 years since its founding, the Cancer Research Fund has gained worldwide prominence in cancer research by identifying outstanding young postdoctoral scientists and providing them with financial support for their research. Each year, of the more than 500 young scientists who submit proposals, only about 60 are awarded postdoctoral fellowships. There are 11 Nobel Prize-winning scientists in the Runyon-Winchell alumni community. Specifically, two are former fellows of the Cancer Research Fund and nine are former grantees. Numerous other Runyon-Winchell scientists have gone on to leadership positions in science and medicine. There are currently 160 Runyon-Winchell Fellows at leading cancer research institutions in the United States.