Curtis Huttenhower, assistant professor of computational biology and bioinformatics in the Department of Biostatistics at HSPH, was one of 96 researchers named by President Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Huttenhower was instrumental in several studies published earlier this year that helped identify and analyze the vast human “microbiome” — the more than five million microbial genes that exist inside the human body.
“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people,” President Obama said in the July 23, 2012 award announcement. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”
Award recipients are selected for their “pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach,” according to the announcement. The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Recipients are employed or funded by governmental departments and agencies, which join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers. Huttenhower receives funding from the National Science Foundation.