2004 Pioneer Award Recipients
New York, NY
Larry Abbott, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics and a member of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He received his Ph.D. in physics at Brandeis University in 1977. After a 10 year career in theoretical particle physics, Abbott switched his research interests to the mathematical modeling and analysis of neurons and neural networks. His research involves using analytic techniques and computer simulation to study the electrical characteristics of single neurons, to determine how neurons interact to produce functioning neural circuits, and to investigate how large populations of neurons represent, store, and process information. He is the author of numerous research articles in both particle physics and neuroscience, as well as a widely used textbook on theoretical neuroscience.
Children’s Hospital Boston / Harvard Stem Cell Institute
George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned his doctorate in biology in 1989 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his medical degree in 1991 from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Daley studies stem cells of the blood to define the molecular basis of human leukemia and to gain insights into normal blood development. He has won several awards and has published 85 journal articles. In 2003, his germ cell research was cited as a “Top Ten” breakthrough by Science magazine.
Duke University Medical Center
Homme W. Hellinga, Ph.D., is Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He received a doctorate in molecular biology in 1986 from University of Cambridge. His research interests include combined theoretical and experimental approaches to protein and drug design, molecular simulation, and protein engineering. Dr. Hellinga has published more than 44 journal articles. He holds three patents with three more pending approval.
Division of Experimental Medicine, University of California at San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Mike McCune, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Experimental Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He earned an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and a Ph.D. in immunology and cell biology from the Rockefeller University, then completed a residency in internal medicine at UCSF. Dr. McCune’s research has focused on the pathogenic mechanisms of viral diseases, particularly HIV-1 disease. He is currently focusing his attention on understanding the correlates of protective immunity against HIV, with the specific intent to work with others to develop an effective vaccine. He won an Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Scientist Award in 1996, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research in 2000, and an NIH MERIT Award in 2001. Dr. McCune has published more than 150 articles and holds 20 patents and inventions.
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Steven L. McKnight, Ph.D., is Professor and Chairman of the Biochemistry Department at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He earned his doctorate in Biology in 1977 from University of Virginia. The McKnight laboratory seeks to understand the regulation of transcription factors, the regulatory proteins that switch genes on and off, at a biochemical level with keen attention to biological relevance. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Chad Mirkin, Ph.D., is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University. Mirkin is pioneering the development of nanoscale chemical and biological sensors. He also invented and developed Dip-Pen Nanolithography, a groundbreaking nanoscale analytical tool. Some of his many honors include: the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences; the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award; the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry; the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology; and the Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award. Mirkin has authored over 200 publications and 75 patents, serves on the editorial advisory board of 12 chemistry journals, and is the founding editor of the international journal of nanotechnology, Small. He is also the founder of two companies, Nanosphere and NanoInk.
California Institute of Technology
Rob Phillips, Ph.D., is professor of Engineering and Applied Science at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He received his doctorate in Physics in 1989 from Washington University in St. Louis. His laboratory's research projects are aimed at exploring nanoscale mechanics in biological systems. Several recent case studies include mechanical processes such as DNA ejection and DNA packing that occur during the life cycle of bacterial viruses and the study of how certain classes of ion channels are gated by mechanical forces. His extensive work in modeling materials culminated in a book entitled Crystals, Defects and Microstructures.
Stephen R. Quake, D.Phil., is a professor of bioengineering at Stanford University. He earned his doctor of philosophy in 1994 from Oxford University. After a postdoc at Stanford, he began his independent career at the California Institute of Technology in 1996, where he rose through the ranks to become the Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Applied Physics and Physics. Dr. Quake’s lab is broadly interested in biophysics and bioengineering, and uses techniques such as single molecule spectroscopy and microfluidics to address a variety of fundamental and technological questions.
Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Ph.D., is Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. He earned his doctorate in chemistry in 1990 from the University of California, San Diego. His research has three objectives: (1) to understand conformational and chemical dynamics of biomolecules such as enzymes through single-molecule spectroscopic studies; (2) to study biochemical activities of macromolecules in living cells, gene expression in particular, at the single-molecule level; (3) to develop new microscopy techniques for cellular imaging. Dr. Xie holds three patents and has published more than 70 journal articles. In 2003 he won the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences.