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NHGRI-funded researchers honored with Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers

Three researchers funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).


According to the White House, the PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.

"NHGRI has consistently funded many of the best scientists conducting genomics research. We are proud that some of these researchers are now being recognized for their remarkable productivity and leadership,” said NHGRI director Dr. Eric Green. 


2019 PECASE Winners


NHGRI intramural researcher Dr. Adam Phillippy will receive the award for his pathbreaking work on single-molecule DNA sequencing that is allowing for the assembly of complete genome sequences. Such assembly will help finish the remaining gaps in the human reference genome, which has a clear benefit to the study of genetic disorders. 

Extramural researcher, Dr. Neville Sanjana at the New York Genome Center, will be recognized for his innovative approaches to the study of transcriptional regulation. By using a suite of new technologies, Dr. Sanjana and his team have enabled research that pinpoints regulatory regions within the human genome, recognizes the genes regulated by these regions and identifies the mechanisms they use to alter gene expression.

Dr. David Yu Zhang, an extramural researcher at Rice University, will be awarded for his rigorous and creative work on the enrichment of DNA and RNA sequences based on hybridization kinetics. Dr. Zhang’s work provides the methodology to selectively retain and enrich DNA or RNA sequences of interest, for example, those that provide meaningful scientific or clinical information, for further analysis including applications to next-generation sequencing.

Last updated: July 26, 2019