Grant recognizes outstanding early-career scientists who are pioneering new approaches to global health problems
For immediate release, Thursday, September 22, 2016
Boston, MA ─ Infectious disease researcher Flaminia Catteruccia from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has been named a Faculty Scholar by three of the nation’s largest philanthropies for her work to unravel the biology of malaria-carrying mosquitoes and develop innovative tools for malaria control. The prestigious award, part of a new partnership involving the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Simons Foundation, provides support for promising early-career scientists during the critical time when they establish their own laboratories and secure independent sources of funding.
“The research led by Flaminia and her colleagues holds enormous promise for malaria control, particularly in regions that are hardest-hit by the disease, such as sub-Saharan Africa,” says Dyann Wirth, Richard Pearson Strong Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard Chan School. “We are deeply proud of their work and, at the same time, grateful to HHMI, the Gates Foundation, and the Simons Foundation for their generosity in supporting it.”
A total of 84 early-career scientists from institutions across the country received awards under the new Faculty Scholars Program. The selection process was highly competitive and included over 1,400 applicants. Catteruccia is the sole Harvard Chan School investigator to receive the honor.
“I am deeply honored to be among the inaugural class of Faculty Scholars,” says Catteruccia, an associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard Chan School. “The award will help catalyze my lab’s efforts to understand the complex interplay between the reproductive biology of the malaria mosquito and the development of the malaria parasite, and apply that knowledge toward novel methods for malaria control.”
She will receive $1.2 million over five years to cover researcher salaries, laboratory equipment, supplies, and other research expenses. The amount of funding awarded to Catteruccia and the other Faculty Scholars was based on several factors, including their current level of support from external grants.
Early-career scientists like Catteruccia face significant challenges, especially in light of the current constraints on federal research funding. As these investigators establish laboratories and compete for independent funding, they are often compelled to devote more time to grant writing and less time to dreaming up bold new experiments.
“We are very excited to welcome these accomplished scientists into the HHMI community,” said HHMI President Erin O’Shea. “We’re equally gratified to work alongside our philanthropic partners to help these early-career scientists move science forward by pursuing their bold ideas.”
Read the HHMI news release: https://www.hhmi.org/news/philanthropies-announce-selection-faculty-scholars
See HHMI’s web gallery of Faculty Scholars: http://media.hhmi.org/FacultyScholars2016-gallery/
Read a Harvard Chan profile of Flaminia Catteruccia: Mosquito maven
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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.