Torres named Searle Scholar for 2013

By Mark L. Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

April 09, 2013

Eduardo M. Torres, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine, joins 14 other researchers across the country in the chemical and biological sciences who have been named 2013 Searle Scholars.

The Searle Scholars Program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding young scientists who have recently been appointed as assistant professors on a tenure-track appointment. Each recipient will be awarded $300,000 to support his or her work during the next three years.

Since the program’s inception in 1980, more than 500 Searle Scholars have shared more than $100 million in grant funding.

Dr. Torres, a member of the program in gene function and expression, joins three Searle Scholar alumni at UMMS: Eric Huseby, PhD, assistant professor of pathology; Michael R. Green, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Lambi and Sarah Adams Chair in Genetic Research and professor of molecular medicine and biochemistry & molecular pharmacology; and Melissa J. Moore, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology.

The selection committee seeks scientists who “have already demonstrated innovative research with the potential for making significant contributions to chemical and biological research over an extended period of time.”

Torres joined UMMS in 2012 and studies aneuploidy—the state of having an abnormal number of chromosomes. In humans, aneuploidy is a major cause of miscarriages. It also plays an important role in cancer cells, especially tumor initiation and progression. Torres seeks to understand the basic cellular processes in aneuploidy, including how cellular metabolism is altered.

“The research programs of this year’s scholars exemplify the most exciting frontiers of chemistry and the biomedical sciences,” said Searle Scholar Program Scientific Director Doug Fambrough. “It is a privilege to be able to kick-start careers of such visionary young scientists.”