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Two Members of the First Class of the Watson School of Biological Sciences are Awarded Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowships

Cold Spring Harbor, NY, June 28, 1999 -- Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today announced that two of the six students entering Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's newly formed Watson School of Biological Sciences--Amy Caudy and Elizabeth Thomas--have been awarded their prestigious predoctoral fellowships for graduate training in the biological sciences. The HHMI Predoctoral Fellowships in Biological Sciences will support the students for up to five years while they pursue full-time study toward their Ph.D. at the Watson School of Biological Sciences. A total of 87 of these highly competitive fellowships were awarded nationwide.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute was founded in 1953 by aviator-industrialist Howard R. Hughes, and is the country's largest private medical research institute. Its primary purpose is "the promotion of human knowledge within the field of the basic sciences (principally the field of medical research and medical education) and the effective application thereof for the benefit of mankind." The institute has several programs through which it supports scientific and medical education. Among them are fellowships for exceptional doctoral and medical students. The institute also provides direct support to courses providers, and support for scientists doing basic scientific and biomedical research.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory received accreditation to award the Ph.D. in the biological sciences on September 18, 1998, from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York on behalf of the State Education Department. In February of this year approval was give to rename the School the Watson School of Biological Sciences in recognition of the Laboratory's President James D. Watson who shared with Francis Crick the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the DNA double helix. Watson's role at Cold Spring Harbor extends over 50 years. He first came to the Laboratory in 1948 as a graduate student with Salvador Luria (1969 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine). In 1953, Watson made the first public presentation of the structure of DNA at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1960, he joined the Laboratory's scientific advisory board and in 1965, he joined the Laboratory's Board of Trustees. For 25 years, from 1968 to 1993, Watson was director of the Laboratory. In 1994, he assumed his current position of President of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

For more information about the Watson School of Biological Sciences, please visit the school's Web site at

For more information about Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowships in Biological Sciences, please see the HHMI Web site at

Watson School of Biological Sciences
Entering Class of 1999

Amy Caudy
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Scholar (1996)
Barry Goldwater Scholarship (1997)
One of America's top ten College Women (leadership and service) from Glamour magazine (1998)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellow (1999-2004)

Michelle Cilia
Boston University, Massachusetts

Boston University Trustee Scholar (1995-1999)
Boston University Funded Research Opportunities Grant (1998)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Scholar (1996)

Ahmet Denli
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

No.1 ranked High School Science student in Turkey (1990)
Ranked in top 50 University entrants (of 1.2 million examinees) in Turkey (1995)
Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey Basic Sciences Scholarship (1995)
Bilkent University Scholarship (1995-1999)

Emiliano Rial Verde
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Visiting Research Scholar, Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France (1998,1999)

Elizabeth Thomas
The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

CRUI Fellowship, The Evergreen State College
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Undergraduate Research Program (1997)
Undergraduate Summer Research Fellow, UC San Diego (1998)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellow (1999-2004)

Niraj Tolia
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, United Kingdom

Pfizer Central Research Impact Award for novel approaches to drug metabolism studies (1997-1998)

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