Pew honors Scripps Research Institute scholar

The Pew Charitable Trusts has named Changchun Xiao, Ph.D., of The Scripps Research Institute as a 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

The program enables scientists to take calculated risks, expand their research and explore unanticipated leads. Scholars receive $240,000 over four years and gain inclusion into a select community of scientists that includes three Nobel Prize winners, three MacArthur Fellows and two recipients of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award.

Xiao joined the faculty of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science of the Scripps Research Institute in 2008 as an assistant professor. In the last decade, small ribonucleic acids (RNAs) have proven to be important regulators of biological processes in mammals.

In particular, genetic studies from Xiao’s laboratory and other groups suggest that small RNAs play critical roles in immune responses, autoimmune diseases and lymphoma. To better understand how small RNAs affect the lymph and immune systems, Xiao will analyze the activity of small RNAs in the immune system and in a large collection of lymphoma tissue samples.