The Searle Scholars Program makes grants to selected universities and research centers to support the independent research of exceptional young faculty in the biomedical sciences and chemistry.
SEARLE SCHOLARS PROGRAM NAMES 15 SCIENTISTS AS SEARLE SCHOLARS FOR 2022
Members of the new class of Searle Scholars pursue ground-breaking research in chemistry and the biomedical sciences. Each receives an award of $300,000 in flexible funding to support his, her, or their work over the next three years.
The Searle Scholars Program makes grants to selected universities and research centers to support the independent research of exceptional young faculty in the biomedical sciences and chemistry who have recently been appointed as assistant professors on a tenure-track appointment. The Program’s Scientific Director appoints an Advisory Board of eminent scientists who choose the Scholars based on rigorous standards aimed at finding the most creative talent interested in pursuing an academic research career. This year, 186 applications were considered from nominations by 176 universities and research institutions.
“Our Scientific Advisory Board has identified 15 outstanding young scientists, whose work brings new perspectives to important questions in genetics, immunology, neurobiology among other areas, and that will lead to new fields of study,” remarked Milan Mrksich, Scientific Director for the Searle Scholars Program. The topics these scientists are pursuing include:
- How do early life environments have profound and long-lasting effects on human health?
- How does light impact bacterial physiology and can light be used as a broad spectrum antibacterial therapeutic?
- How does the brain alternate between its focus on a particular object in the environment and survey the full environment to be prepared for the unexpected?
- How can antibodies that recognize novel viruses be rapidly designed from first principles?
Mrksich notes that the Scholars address challenging research questions that “lead to new insights that fundamentally change their fields, and often times lead to exciting opportunities for translation and the development of new therapeutics and diagnostics.”
Since 1981, 662 scientists have been named Searle Scholars. Including this year, the Program has awarded more than $147 million. Eighty-five Searle Scholars have been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Twenty Scholars have been recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship, known as the “genius grant,” and two Searle Scholars have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
About the Searle Scholars Program
The Searle Scholars Program supports high risk, high reward research across a broad range of scientific disciplines. Grants are $300,000 for a three-year term with $100,000 payable each year of the grant. The Searle Scholars Program is funded through the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and administered by Kinship Foundation.
2022 class of Searle Scholars:
Amanda J. Lea
Environmental determinants of health: molecular mechanisms and inter-individual variation
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Neural Circuits for Flexible Vocal Communication
University of California, Davis
In vivo proteomic labeling of functionally-defined neuronal circuits
Edward C. Twomey
The Johns Hopkins University
How Tight Junctions Form Selective Barriers
Guangyu Robert Yang
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building and evaluating multi-system functional models of brains
Ian C. Fiebelkorn
University of Rochester
The Neural Basis of Cognitive Flexibility
Kara L. McKinley
President and Fellows of Harvard College
Regenerative strategies of the menstruating uterus
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
The mysterious origins of anti-CRISPR proteins
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Understanding the spatial organization of signal transduction
Meg A. Younger
Human Odor Detection in Blood-Drinking Mosquitoes
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Systematic identification of antibody sequence signatures for epitope prediction
University of Illinois Chicago
Multiplexed Molecular Imaging of Late-Phase Enveloped Virus Replication
The University of Chicago
Multiscale investigation of photo sensing in non-photosynthetic bacteria
Exploring the landscape and function of chromatin atomic-scale dynamics
California Institute of Technology
Dark proteome-mediated transcriptional control at single-molecule resolution