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Brickner Receives Medical Research Award from W. M. Keck Foundation

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August 24, 2009 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jason Brickner, assistant professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, has been named one of the five Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research for 2009 by the W. M. Keck Foundation, a leading supporter of high-impact medical research, science and engineering.

 The Young Scholars program was designed to promote the early career development of some of the country’s brightest young biomedical scientists. Northwestern, Brickner’s sponsoring institution, will receive $1 million over five years in support of Brickner’s research.

Brickner is focused on two fundamental questions in cell biology: how the cell nucleus is organized spatially and how this organization affects gene expression. The ultimate goal of Brickner and his research team is to determine the molecular mechanisms used by cells to control the localization of genes and how the localization of individual genes impacts the spatial organization and function of the whole genome.

Brickner’s lab has identified a number of proteins that are essen­tial for gene localization and is closing in on defining the protein-DNA interactions that target genes to specific nuclear locations and determining how this process is regulated.

His honors include support from the Baldwin Fund for Biomedical Research, an American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant and being named a Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator Award finalist.

Prior to joining Northwestern in 2005, Brickner was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine.

In addition to the Keck Award, Brickner’s research is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Established in 1998, the Keck Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research program supports groundbreaking research addressing the fundamental mechanisms of human disease. To date, 54 young investigators have received funding.

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