Since 1976, the annual program has recognized young leaders in biomedical science whose research has the potential to reveal new pathways that lead to advances in human health. The seven scientists in this year's cohort will each receive an annual grant of up to $110,000 for up to five years in support of innovative research on a range of topics, including how the interpretation of chemical signals is disrupted in neurological disorders, how cells communicate with one another, the biology of insects' social behavior, and the neural circuits that connect breathing and cognition. Five scholars were nominated by research institutions in the United States and two were selected in partnership with the American Pain Society.
The 2018 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars are Paul Greer (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Emily Hatch (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), Vincent Luca (Moffitt Cancer Center), Joseph Parker (California Institute of Technology), Lindsay Schwarz (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital), Helen Lai (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center), and Candace Paulsen (Yale School of Medicine).
"These exceptional young scientists are pushing the boundaries of knowledge," said Rita Allen Foundation president and CEO Elizabeth Good Christopherson. "Their research will uncover and illuminate critical functions in the body and inform our understanding of disease treatment and prevention. Their work is as inspiring as it is important."