Whitehead’s Sabatini named “Distinguished Young Scholar” by W.M. Keck Foundation

July 13, 2005

Tags: Sabatini LabAwards + Announcements

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (July 13, 2005) — Whitehead Associate Member David Sabatini has been chosen by the W.M. Keck Foundation as one of this year’s grant recipients under the Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research program.

Established in 1998, the program aims to support research investigating the fundamental mechanisms of human disease by young scientists “who exhibit extraordinary promise for independent basic biological and medical research and who demonstrate a capacity for future academic leadership.”

Sabatini, who is one of five award recipients chosen from a pool of 30 applicants, will receive up to $1 million over the next five years to support his work.

Sabatini studies the mechanisms that regulate cell growth. Spurred by the discovery of a cellular pathway that helps to switch cell growth on and off, research in the Sabatini lab has linked growth to a cell’s ability to sense nutrients in its environment.

This growth-triggering system, known as the TOR pathway, is composed of a complex of proteins that respond to nutrient cues. Sabatini is working to identify TOR pathway components and study how they interact and work. His efforts to understand mammalian TOR at the cellular level have provided a new way to investigate the role nutrients and metabolism play in disease.

“This is wonderful,” says Sabatini, who is also an associate professor of biology at MIT. “This type of honor validates all the hard work that everyone in my lab has done over the last few years and gives us the resources to pursue innovative projects in the future.”

"David Sabatini being named a Keck Scholar is a wonderful affirmation of what all of us at Whitehead already knew," says Whitehead Interim Director David Page. "Sabatini is a rising leader in his generation; he is a bold, passionate, and accomplished biomedical scientist with a very bright future."

All of this year’s award recipients will participate in the Fifth Annual Distinguished Young Scholars Symposium to be held on May 2, 2006.

Written by David Cameron.

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