Murphy dubbed Keck Young Scholar

July 28, 2008, 6:31 p.m.

Coleen Murphy, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton, has been named a Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research for 2008 by the W.M. Keck Foundation.

A faculty member since 2005, Murphy is one of five scholars being honored by the foundation, a leading supporter of pioneering medical research, science and engineering. She was selected for her goals of identifying the genes critical for the maintenance of higher neuronal activities, in particular learning and memory, during aging. Her work eventually may lead to the development of treatments and preventions for age-related memory decline and neurodegeneration.

"Over the past decade, Keck Young Scholars have consistently produced high-impact research and have advanced to become some of the most prominent scientists in their respective fields," said Robert Day, the foundation's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are proud to have helped jump-start the careers of some of our nation's research leaders and are very pleased to support a new group of young scholars who we believe have the same potential."

Each grant recipient's sponsoring institution will receive an award of up to $1 million to support the scientist's research activities for a period of up to five years. Since its inception in 1998, the program has awarded grants to 49 researchers at leading universities and institutions.