Whitehead Member Jing-Ke Weng named a Pew Scholar

Head and shoulders shot of Jing-Ke Weng

Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— The Pew Charitable Trusts has named Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng a 2014 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Weng, who joined the Whitehead faculty in the fall of 2013, is one of 22 promising young scientists selected for this year’s honor. Weng, who is studying how certain plant-derived products can be effective in treating human disease, will receive $60,000 in research support annually over the next four years.

Launched in 1985, Pew’s scholars program supports top U.S. scientists at the assistant professor level and has, since inception, provided more than 500 young investigators with more than $130 million in research funding for projects that, though seemingly risky, have the potential to benefit human health.

“Pew has supported scientific innovation through its scholars program for 29 years. Time and again, this investment has fueled groundbreaking discoveries that hold the promise of better health for millions of people,” says Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of Pew. “We are pleased to welcome the newest class of scholars to a community that continues to yield extraordinary findings in the field of bioscience.”

Scholars are selected by a national advisory committee of eminent scientists, who evaluate candidates on the basis of proven creativity

“Scientific breakthroughs often come from seemingly unlikely origins, which is why it’s so important to give young scientists the freedom and the support they need to pursue their most creative ideas,” says advisory committee Chairman Craig C. Mello. “It is our privilege to help these outstanding investigators pursue new research paths and work with peers across disciplines in order to advance biomedical science and ultimately benefit human health.”

Weng is the third Whitehead Member to be named a Pew Scholar. Mary Gehring became a Pew Scholar in 2010, while David Sabatini earned the same honor in 2003. Former Whitehead Fellow Fernando Camargo, now an investigator at Children’s Hospital Boston, became a Pew Scholar in 2010.



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