Dr idan Efroni, of the Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, was chosen as one of forty-one scientists from 16 countries as an International Research Scholar by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to early-career scientists poised to advance biomedical research across the globe.
Idan Efroni is unraveling the mystery of plants’ impressive regenerative abilities. He uses tomatoes to study adventitious root meristems, which house stem cells that help form roots with stems or leaves. Insight into this process might reveal clues about tissue regeneration in other organisms, and help scientists boost plant production for agriculture.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to develop scientific talent around the world, and will award a total of nearly $26.7 million to this group of scholars. Each researcher will receive a total of $650,000 over five years. The award is a big boon for scientists early in their careers, and offers the freedom to pursue new research directions and creative projects that could develop into top-notch scientific programs.
“This is an outstanding group of scientists who will push biomedical research forward worldwide, and we are thrilled to support them alongside our philanthropic partners,” said David Clapham, HHMI’s Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
The scientists selected as International Research Scholars represent a diverse array of scientific disciplines and geographic locations. Scholars hail from research organizations and institutions from across the world, from Tanzania to Cambodia to Chile to Austria. Their research covers a broad variety of biological and medical research areas too, including neuroscience, genetics, biophysics, computational biology, and parasitology.