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Friday, July 24, 2009
Eleven physician-scientists from seven institutions nationwide
have been selected recipients of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Early Career Physician-Scientist Awards. Miguel Rivera, MD, of the MGH
Pathology Service, is among the talented group selected for this grant. Awardees receive a total of $375,000 over
five years to advance their research.
Rivera is studying Wilms tumor, the most common type of kidney
cancer in children. In 2007, he discovered WTX, a tumor suppressor gene that is
inactivated in about a third of Wilms tumors. Based on his studies, Rivera
believes WTX also plays an important role in normal kidney development. He
hopes continued investigation may offer further insight into WTX, other similar
genes and their relationship to pediatric cancer.
"The mechanisms behind many types of pediatric cancer remain
unknown," says Rivera. "This award will allow us to use cutting-edge genomic
technologies to identify new genes involved in these diseases."
The Early Career Physician-Scientist Awards are part of an overall
HHMI initiative designed to support and encourage promising
physician-scientists at a vital stage in their careers. Sixty-three individuals
have received the award since the program's inception, including eight previous
recipients who are MGH investigators.
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