Two University of Colorado researchers are among 50 scientists who will receive the coveted Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist awards in 2009, the university announced Thursday.
Joaquin Espinosa, an assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, and Rob Knight, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry as well as computer science, are the recipients from Boulder. They each will receive$1.5 million over six years to further their research. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, or HHMI, also will pay the researchers salaries and benefits.
“We saw a tremendous opportunity for HHMI to impact the research community by freeing promising scientists to pursue their best ideas during this early stage of their careers,” said Thomas Cech, who is president of the institute, a Nobel laureate in chemistry and a CU scientist. “At the same time, we hope that our investment in these 50 faculty will free the resources of other agencies to support the work of other outstanding early career scientists.”
Espinosa will study how specific gene networks control the behavior of cancer cells and Knight will study the evolution of the composition of biomolecules, genomes and communities.