Shaevitz named as Pew Scholar

July 10, 2009, 2:53 p.m.

Joshua Shaevitz, an assistant professor of physics and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton, has been named a Pew Scholar for demonstrating excellence and innovation in his research.

He is one of 17 early career scientists working in the biomedical sciences to be chosen as Pew Scholars. They receive a $240,000 award over four years to help support their work.

A faculty member since 2007, Shaevitz is interested in the role that mechanical forces play in biology, especially how microscopic proteins can exert such powerful forces in larger cells. He is studying how tiny filaments can help define how cells organize themselves and he is developing new experimental techniques to explore these topics.

The scholars program provides "scientists with the resources to carry out significant research early in their careers," according to Rebecca Rimel, president and chief executive officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which bestows the awards.

"The Pew Biomedical Scholars are a synergistic community whose connections are reinforced over the years," said Craig Mello, a 1995 Pew Scholar who won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He also chaired the national advisory committee for the program. "I have no doubt that this immensely talented and diverse new class of Pew Scholars will have a major impact on biomedical research through their contributions as part of the Pew community and on science as a whole," Mello added.