Recent News

Here's recent news related to current and former Searle Scholars. Scholars: if you have any information you would like to contribute, please send it by e-mail to Doug Fambrough.

April 13, 2016

Fifteen Scientists Named as Searle Scholars for 2016

Fifteen scientists in the chemical and biological sciences have been named 2016 Searle Scholars. Each researcher is awarded $300,000 in flexible funding to support his or her work during the next three years.

Searle Scholars are selected for their potential to make significant contributions to chemical and biological research over the course of their careers. The Program’s Scientific Director appoints an Advisory Board of eminent scientists who choose the Scholars based on rigorous standards aimed at finding the most creative talent interested in pursuing an academic research career. This year, 196 applications were considered from nominations by 137 universities and research institutions.

“Each of these amazing young scientists is taking cutting-edge approaches to answer fundamental questions in chemistry and the biological and biomedical sciences,” said Dr. Doug Fambrough, Scientific Director. “They have thought deeply about how their discoveries might benefit “people-kind,” as one can even find reflected in the titles of some of their research projects. We expect great things to come from their work, and we are delighted to be able to give an early boost to their careers.”

Sixty-six Searle Scholars have been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. 16 Scholars have been recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship, known as the “genius grant.” And a Searle Scholar has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Since 1981, 572 scientists have been named Searle Scholars. Including this year, the Program has awarded more than $124 million.

About the Searle Scholars Program

Searle Scholars Program is a limited submission award program which makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding early-career scientists who have recently been appointed as assistant professors on a tenure-track appointment. Grants are $300,000 for a three-year term with $100,000 payable each year of the grant. Searle Scholars Program is funded through grants from the family trusts to the Chicago Community Trust and administered by Kinship Foundation, the private operating foundation that manages the institutional philanthropy of the Searle Family. For more information about the Searle Scholars Program visit

Related Links

October 7, 2009

Elaine Fuchs ('81 Scholar) awarded National Medal of Science.

Elaine Fuchs, along with eight other laureates, will be honored during a White House ceremony with President Obama on October 7. She is being honored "for her pioneering use of cell biology and molecular genetics in mice to understand the basis of inherited diseases in humans and her outstanding contributions to our understanding of the biology of skin and its disorders, including her notable investigations of adult skin stem cells, cancers and genetic syndromes."

April 3, 2009

Searle Scholars Program Mourns Passing of Cedric Chernick , Director, 1980-1995.

Cedric Chernick, Director of the Searle Scholars Program from its founding in 1980 until 1995, passed away on Thursday, April 2. He played a pivotal role in the conception and organization of the Program, and he was greatly appreciated and admired by Scholars, Advisors, staff and the Searle family for his wisdom, impeccable judgment, great energy, and charming, gentle wit. Following his retirement, Cedric remained a source of sound advice and enthusiastic support. Services will be held on Sunday, April 5th at 2:00 pm at Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago. Interment will be in Oak Woods Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory to should be directed to: Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd, Chicago, IL 60615 or to: Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637.

October 8, 2008

Roger Tsien ( '83 Scholar) Shares Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced this morning that the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is being awarded to Roger Tsien, Martin Chalfie and Osamu Shimomura for their development of green fluorescent protein as a tool for biological research.

June 19, 2008

More Scholars Elected to Academies

Searle Scholars Richard Aldrich ('84), Michael Greenberg ('87) and Minx Fuller ('85) are among the 72 newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences for 2008. This brings to 32 the number of Searle Scholars who are members of the National Academy of Sciences. Also, three Scholars were elected this year to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Fred Cohen ('88), Allison Doupe ('93), and Tim Mitchison ('89).

January 17, 2008


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--The Searle Scholars Program announces a major increase in awards, from $240,000 to $300,000 per three year grant beginning with its 2008 awards. The program will continue to make 15 such awards each year. The increase will ensure that these awards continue to provide exceptionally creative and productive young scientists with sufficient funds to work on their best ideas. These prestigious awards remain among the top monetary awards in chemistry and the biomedical sciences.

Since the program began in 1981, 437 Searle Scholars have received awards totaling over $84 million. In selecting the Scholars, a Scientific Advisory Board of twelve distinguished scientists identifies individuals who have already done innovative research and have the potential for making pivotal contributions to biological research over an extended period of time.

The funds that support the awards come from trusts established under the wills of John G. and Frances C. Searle. Mr. Searle was President of G.D. Searle & Co., of Skokie, Illinois, a research-based pharmaceutical company. Mr. and Mrs. Searle expressed the wish that some of the proceeds of their estates be used for the support of research in medicine, chemistry, and the biomedical sciences.

In 1980, members of the Searle family, acting as Consultants to the Trustees of the Trusts established under the wills of Mr. & Mrs. John G. Searle, recommended the development of a program of support for young biomedical scientists. This idea evolved into the Searle Scholars Program, which is funded through the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and administered by Kinship Foundation in Northbrook, Illinois.

More information about the Searle Scholars Program may be found on the Internet at


EDITORS For more information about the Searle Scholars Program please contact Douglas Fambrough, Scientific Director, Searle Scholars Program, at 410.321.8322 or the program's website,

September 26, 2007

Michael Elowitz ('04 Searle Scholar) Becomes Ninth Scholar to Win MacArthur "Genius" Award.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced the names of its 25 Fellows for 2007. The MacArthur Foundation noted Michael's contributions to the study of the nervous systems of unusual animals "to generate new insights into the mammalian cortex--how it evolves, develops, and responds to changing conditions". The text of the MacArthur Foundation web site reads as follows.

"Michael Elowitz is a molecular biologist who is laying the groundwork for the next stage in the genomics revolution - understanding how genes interact. To do so, Elowitz employs a strategy of designing artificial genetic "circuits," first modeling them computationally and then introducing the elements in vivo to test their activity. Experimenting with the first synthetic biological oscillator, he surprised many by demonstrating that even relatively simple negative feedback genetic regulation loops can generate complex behavior within a cell. His work revealed that, because of the low concentration of effector molecules, concepts familiar in electronics such as noise and bistability also find currency in explaining gene regulation. In another critical experiment, Elowitz showed that when two reporter genes with identical regulatory elements were engineered into bacteria they expressed themselves differently and that these differences were due to both intrinsic and extrinsic noise. More recently, he investigated the regulation of a complex stage in normal cellular differentiation of bacilli known as "competence" in which they are temporarily able to incorporate DNA from their external environment. Evidence from imaging studies and mathematical modeling suggest that the underlying genetic circuit consists of both positive and negative feedback loops. Through these and other studies, Elowitz is addressing the long-standing question of how cells can maintain a well-regulated state in a complex and noisy environment.

Michael Elowitz received a B.A. (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. (1999) from Princeton University. Since 2003, he has served as an assistant professor of biology and as an applied physics Bren Scholar at the California Institute of Technology. His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA."

Previous MacArthur awards have gone to Searle Scholars Joe DeRisi, Pehr Harbury, Raphael Lee, Richard Mulligan, David Page, Geraldine Seydoux, Xiaowei Zhuang and Ken Catania.

Related Links

News     Recent News  |  2014 News  |  2013 News  |  2012 News  |  2011 News  |  2010 News  |  2009 News  |  2008 News  |  2007 News  |  2006 News  |  2005 News  |  2004 News  |  2003 News  |  2002 News  |  2001 News  |  2000 News  |  1999 News  |  1998 News  |  1997 News