Pew Scholars meet once each year to discuss their research among their peers, explore different areas of biomedical science, and spark innovation in their fields. Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of the Pew Charitable Trusts stated “this impressive group has demonstrated the curiosity and courage that drive great scientific advances, and we are excited to help them fulfill their potential.”
Of this year’s 22 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences, eight are women.
Rachel J. Dutton is an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of California, San Diego. She joined the faculty at the university in 2015 after serving as a Bauer Fellow in the Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University. Her research focuses on microbial communities. Dr. Dutton is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in molecular biology. She holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Harvard University.
Ya-Chieh Hsu is an assistant professor in the department of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University. She studies how different cell types coordinate with one another, to maintain tissue function during development, regeneration, and repair. Dr. Hsu joined the faculty at Harvard University in 2014 after conducting postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University in New York. She holds a Ph.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Anna Victoria R. Molofsky is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She studies brain development from the perspective of glia — specialized support cells that are also communication hubs between the immune system and the brain. Dr. Molofsky is a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts. She holds a medical doctorate and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Shaeri Mukherjee is an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of California, San Francisco. She explores the molecular mechanisms that allow infectious bacteria to subvert host pathways and promote their own survival. A native of India, Dr. Mukherjee studied at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yale University.
Carolyn M. Phillips is the Gabilan Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her lab is investigating where the components of the RNA silencing pathways in cells are assembled. Dr. Phillips is a graduate of the University of California, Davis. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kaoru Saijo is an assistant professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research is focused on the role that immune cells found in the brain, called microglia, play in the development of depression. Dr. Saijo holds a medical doctorate and a Ph.D.
Elizabeth Villa is an assistant professor of biophysics at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Villa joined the faculty at the university in 2014. Her work concerns developing the tools needed to view the precise conformation of chromosomes as they are packaged inside the nucleus of a living cell. She earned a Ph.D. in biophysics and computational biology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Nilay Yapici is an assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Her research examines the neural circuits that regulate hunger sensation and food intake. Dr. Yapici is a graduate of Bogazici University in Turkey, where she majored in molecular biology and genetics. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Austria.