Contact: Alexander Shtifman
Phone: 617-713-8989
alex...@childrens.harvard.edu

Text adapted from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund press release

During its May 2011 meeting, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Board of Directors awarded Duane Wesemann, M.D., Ph.D., research fellow in the Department of Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, as one of the recipients of the 2011 Career Award for Medical Scientists.  Duane works in laboratory of Frederick W. Alt, Ph.D., in the area of B cell developmental biology, particularly as it relates to diseases of immune tolerance breakdown and primary immune deficiency.

In all, the BWF Board of Directors approved 10 recipients for the 2011 Career Awards for Medical Scientists, representing an investment of $7 million in the early stage careers of physician scientists.

The Career Award for Medical Scientists is a five-year $700,000 award for physician-scientists to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the early years of faculty service. The award was first offered in 2006.  This is the fourth award cycle and the first since the award was temporarily halted in 2010 due to the economic downturn.

Often with more focus on translating research into practical applications and therapies, the physician scientist plays an important role of connecting research and the patient.  However, because of the multifaceted nature of the physician scientist, there is little early career support.

"The Career Award for Medical Scientists hopes to encourage physician scientists to continue in research," said BWF President Dr. John Burris.  "They play an increasingly vital role in health research and care."

In addition to his research in the Alt lab, Duane is an associate physician in the Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at Brigham and Women's Hospital.  He sees patients once a week with a focus in allergy and clinical immunology.

For the BWF press release and full list of recipients, please click here.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities. Within this broad mission, BWF has two primary goals:

  • To help scientists early in their careers develop as independent investigators
  • To advance fields in the basic biomedical sciences that are undervalued or in need of particular encouragement