UO chemist Brad Nolen is among 2011 Pew Scholars

image of Brad NolenEUGENE, Ore. -- (June 15, 2011) -- University of Oregon chemist Brad J. Nolen is among 22 newly named 2011 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The annual recognition goes to promising early career scientists who are pursuing research deemed important to medical breakthroughs and treatments.

Nolen, who joined the UO's chemistry department in Fall 2008, studies the molecular basis for regulation of the cytoskeleton, which provides physical support for cells. His lab uses a combination of biochemistry, biophysics, X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular-level regulation processes.

Past Pew Scholars have gone on to become MacArthur Fellows, recipients of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award and Nobel Prize winners. Research by the new class of Pew Scholars is related to many human diseases, ranging from Alzheimer's to diabetes to ocular degeneration.

To date, the program has invested more than $125 million to fund more than 500 scholars. It is a rigorously competitive program where recipients receive $240,000 over four years to pursue their research without restriction. Applicants who work in all areas of physical and life sciences related to biomedical study must be nominated by an invited institution and demonstrate both excellence and innovation in their research. This year, 175 institutions were requested to nominate a candidate and 136 eligible nominations were received.

Nolen is a member of the UO Institute of Molecular Biology. He earned his doctorate in 2003 from the University of California, San Diego. As an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow, he conducted research at Yale University before joining the UO.

Nolen is the second UO winner of this award. Hui Zong, a professor of biology and also a member of the Institute of Molecular Biology, was named a Pew Scholar in 2008. Zong's research focuses on the early emergence of cancer.

Media Contact: Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481, jebarlow@uoregon.edu