NIH News Release
Office of the Director

Monday, February 22, 1999

Marc Stern
(301) 496-2535

President Clinton Honors Outstanding Young Scientists
Twelve of 60 Awardees Have Ties to NIH

Twelve young researchers who are participating in NIH-funded programs were among 60 named by President Clinton (on February 10, 1999) to receive the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals at the onset of their careers. The awards are called "Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers" (PECASE).

These Presidential Awards, established by President Clinton in February 1996, embody the high priority the Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers and nurturing their continued development. Eight Federal departments join together annually to nominate the most meritorious young scientists and engineers who will broadly advance science and technology that will be of the greatest benefit to the participating government agencies.

"The talented young men and women show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge," President Clinton said. "Their passion for discovery will spark our can-do spirit of technological innovation and drive this Nation forward to build a better America for the twenty-first century."

In the award ceremony, Dr. Neal Lane, the President's Science Advisor, cited the honorees "for their research contributions, for their promise, and for their commitment to broader societal goals."

Those selected receive five-year research grants to further their study in support of critical government missions. The federal agencies involved are: the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Veterans' Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. A list of NIH recipients is attached.

Angelika B. Amon: "For outstanding contributions to the understanding of the regulation of cell division that provide a basis for deciphering errors leading to birth defects and cancer."
Institution: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

Marlene Behrmann: "For major contributions to understanding the psychological and neural mechanisms of visual cognition and the effects of brain injury and rehabilitation interventions on these mechanisms."
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University

Mark E. Brezinski: "For significant contribution to improving the diagnosis of early osteoarthritic changes in joint cartilage which could lead to the prevention of irreversible joint damage."
Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital

David D. Chang: "For his outstanding work on understanding the critical differences in cell proliferation between normal and malignant cells."
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles

Brian D. Dynlacht: "For his outstanding work on the mechanisms that control cell proliferation, an area of critical importance in cancer research."
Institution: Harvard University

Ulrike A. Heberlein: "For innovative genetic research in Drosophila to elucidate the neurochemical mechanisms of alcohol's effects on motor coordination and how tolerance to these effects develops."
Institution: San Francisco General Hospital

Linda A. Hicke: "For important discoveries on the nature of the regulation of cell-surface receptors that could lead to new therapies for the treatment of cancer and diabetes."
Institution: Northwestern University

Effie W. Petersdorf: "For outstanding contributions to the development of technology for tissue typing and donor matching in transplantation."
Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Gregory J. Quirk: "For innovative studies on the neurophysiological basis of decreasing fear responses in animals that improve our understanding of the etiology and treatment of affective disorders."
Institution: Ponce (Puerto Rico) School of Medicine

Jeffery Struewing: "For significant contributions to the understanding of the genetics of breast cancer."
Location: National Cancer Institute

Mark Von Zastrow: "For outstanding contributions to understanding the intracellular trafficking of neurotransmitter receptors and the effects of drugs of abuse on the cellular processes in the brain."
Institution: University of California, San Francisco

Matthew Waldor: "For his unique discovery that cholera toxin genes are encoded on a bacteriophage that infects Vibrio choloerae. This finding will dramatically enhance strategies for vaccine development."
Institution: Tufts University