On the U-M Gateway: President Obama honors Duffy as outstanding early career scientist
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
President Barack Obama named 96 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Meghan Duffy, who joins the University of Michigan’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in August 2012 as an assistant professor, was among the honorees, along with three others from U-M.
“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people,” Obama said. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”
The White House noted that Duffy was selected for her research on rapid evolution of host-parasite interactions and for creating educational opportunities for college students in underrepresented minority groups and inner-city K-12 students in Atlanta. Duffy was nominated by the National Science Foundation, where she holds a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award.
“Recently, my lab has begun working on parasites that can infect multiple host species, which are known as multihost parasites,” said Duffy. “Most parasites are multihost parasites, but they have received little attention because they are very challenging to study logistically. The system I work on allows us to study these parasites in natural settings, as well as do manipulative experiments on them in the lab, which is an unusual and exciting combination. We're hoping to figure out things like how parasites jump from one host to another, and the challenges they need to overcome in order to infect multiple host species.”
The Presidential Early Career Awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy.
The PECASE awards were established in 1996. Eleven federal agencies nominate "the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America's preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions," according to a White House news release.
PECASE winners receive funding extensions from the nominating agency. The awardees were selected "for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach," according to the White House news release.
On the U-M Gateway
U-M News Service press release
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