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Michael Dyer, PhD, an assistant member of Developmental Neurobiology, has been named a 2004 Pew Scholar. Joining 15 of the country’s most gifted biomedical scientists, Dyer will receive a total award of $240,000 during a four-year period to support his research, which mainly focuses on the development of the retina and the function of the retinoblastoma gene family.
Pew Scholars are junior faculty members at medical schools and research institutions who show outstanding promise in the basic and clinical sciences. The awards, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered through the University of California at San Francisco, were created on the premise that resources awarded early in the scholars’ careers could provide more independence to some of America’s greatest emerging scientific minds, freeing them to focus earlier on their own areas of interest.
Dyer said receiving the Pew award was an unexpected honor.
“St. Jude has a well-deserved reputation as a supportive environment for junior faculty, and my nomination for the Pew is just one example of that support,” Dyer said. “Receiving the Pew fellowship will allow me the invaluable opportunity to interact with other young researchers at the forefront of their respective fields and provides me with more resources and time to mentor the next round of young scientists. I look forward to using these resources for one-on-one training with the members of my laboratory.”
The award came as no surprise to Thomas Curran, PhD, Developmental Neurobiology chair. “Mike is an outstanding scientist who embodies the principles that led to the formation of the department of Developmental Neurobiology,” he said. “He is a highly successful scientist who is pursuing fundamental basic research discoveries in eye development. At the same time, Mike initiated a new translational research project in retinoblastoma that takes advantage of his unique expertise with the long-term goal of developing new therapeutic approaches for this childhood cancer. I am delighted that he has been recognized by this well-deserved honor, which brings great credit to St. Jude.”
Brenda Schulman, PhD, of Structural Biology and Genetics/Tumor Cell Biology, became the hospital’s first Pew Scholar in 2002.