Established in 1998, the program provides funding to physician-scientists who are one to five years into their first faculty appointment and ready to transition to an independent research career. Selected from a pool of two hundred and ten applicants, this year's sixteen awardees will each receive $495,000 over three years to focus on clinical research and establish a laboratory.
For the third consecutive year, the foundation received applications from roughly the same number of men and women, following an internal effort in 2015 to implement a gender-neutral selection process. This year's recipients include Jasmeer P. Chhatwal (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School), who is studying sleep disruption as a driver of neuronal dysfunction and tau accumulation in preclinical Alzheimer's disease; Andrew L. Kau (Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis), whose work is focused on the role of anti-FimH antibodies in modulating uropathogenic E.coli gut colonization and urinary tract infection; Adina F. Turcu (University of Michigan), who is developing tools for personalized care of patients with primary aldosteronism; and Silvia Vilarinho (Yale School of Medicine), who is studying the genetics and pathogenesis of cholestatic liver disease.
"Physician-scientists are crucial to the clinical research field because they bring significant insights from their direct interactions with patients from the bedside to the bench," said DDCF program director for medical research Betsy Myers. "For this reason, we are proud to support and protect the time devoted to research by these exceptional physician-scientists as they balance their clinical obligations with research work, ultimately giving them greater opportunities to make vital contributions to the field."
For a complete list of this year's awardees, see the DDCF website.