The Greater Milwaukee Foundation
has awarded $600,000 to support the health-related research projects of three early-career Wisconsin scientists.
The foundation’s annual Shaw Scientist Program supports early career investigators seeking solutions in biochemistry, biological sciences and cancer research. This year’s recipients include faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UW-Madison.
“Wisconsin is brimming with talent, and by rewarding innovation, philanthropy can provide incentive for talented people to stay here, or relocate here, and contribute to bettering the health of others,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the foundation.
Helen Meier, assistant professor of epidemiology in the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health at UWM, was awarded $200,000 to support her research of aging in the immune system. She studies how various social and environmental exposures at different stages of life affect immune function, and how changes in immune function influence later life health.
“For example, the specific type of influenza strain you had as a child may impact whether or not an influenza vaccine is effective for you as an older adult,” Meier said. “My work seeks to understand these complex relationships to inform healthy aging.”
Darcie Moore, assistant professor of neuroscience at UW-Madison, received $200,000 to support her study of adult stem cells in an area of the brain that is important for learning and memory.
Zachary Morris, assistant professor of radiation oncology and vice-chair of human oncology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, received $200,000 to support his study of how different doses of radiation therapy may impact the ability of a patient’s immune system to recognize their cancer and how radiation dose may affect the susceptibility of cancer cells to that immune response.