Essays on Science and Society

2003 Grand Prize Winner

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Science  24 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5645, pp. 585
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5645.585

Lei Wang was born in Tonggu, China. He attended Peking University and received his bachelor's degree in organic chemistry in 1994 and his master's degree in physical chemistry in 1997. At Peking University, working in Dr. Zhongfan Liu's laboratory, he used scanning probe microscopy to investigate the properties of nanoparticles. He left China for the United States to pursue graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Under the guidance of Dr. Peter G. Schultz, Dr. Wang developed a general method for genetically encoding unnatural amino acids into proteins in live cells. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2002, Dr. Wang joined Dr. Roger Y. Tsien's group at the University of California, San Diego, for postdoctoral training as a Merck Fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.


Regional Winners

North America: Jeff Levsky, for his essay “Simple Single Cells,” based on his Ph.D. research in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Singer at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. Dr. Levsky was born in Washington, DC, in 1978. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, Illinois, in 1998 he joined the Medical Scientist Training Program at Albert Einstein University. In Dr. Singer's group, he studied the development of single-cell gene expression profiling technology. Dr. Levsky is currently completing his clinical training and is searching for a residency position to pursue a physician-scientist career in imaging and computing.

Europe: Rut Carbadillo-Lopez, for her essay “Shaping Bacteria: The Actin-Like Prokaryotic Cytoskeleton,” based on research performed under the guidance of Prof. Jeff Errington at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, UK. Dr. Carbadillo-Lopez left her home town of Barcelona, Spain, to attend the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Lyon, France, and graduated in 1996 with an engineering degree in biochemistry. She spent 17 months working in industry, and then obtained a master's degree in general microbiology from the Pasteur Institute of Paris before joining the University of Oxford as a graduate student. After receiving her Ph.D. in 2002, she was awarded a Long-Term Fellowship from the Human Frontiers Science Program Organization for postdoctoral training.

Ravi Kamath, for his essay “Functional Genomics in C. elegans Using RNAi,” based on his Ph.D. research performed in the laboratory of Dr. Julie Ahringer at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology. Dr. Kamath was born in Ohio. After completing an undergraduate degree at Harvard University, he entered Harvard Medical School in 1997, but took a break to pursue graduate studies at the University of Cambridge as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellow. He completed his Ph.D. degree in 2002 and has since returned to complete his medical degree at Harvard, where he is currently in his final year.

All Other Countries: Qing Chen, for her essay “Induction of bgl Operon Expression in E. coli: Novel Insights into Sensor Stimulation and Signaling,” based on research in the laboratory of Prof. Orna Amster-Choder at the Hebrew University Medical School, Israel. Dr. Chen was born in 1964 in Jinan, China. She received her M.D. degree in 1986, and a master's degree in biochemistry in 1991 from the Medical School of Shandong University. She worked as a lecturer at the Medical School of Beijing University for 2 years before going to Jerusalem to pursue Ph.D. studies. She was awarded her Ph.D. degree in 2002. In 1998, she left Israel for a research associate position in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Kadner at the University of Virginia. She is currently a research scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Malabi Venkatensan at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Maryland.

David Lando, for his essay “The Huff and Puff of HIF Regulation,” based on his Ph.D. research carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Murray Whitelaw in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Dr. Lando was born in 1969 in Mildura, a small Australian country town. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in 1990 from Flinders University of South Australia. After spending 6 years working for a local biotechnology company, Dr. Lando returned to university to work toward a doctoral degree. After completing his Ph.D., he joined the laboratory of Dr. Tony Kouzarides at the Wellcome Trust Cancer Research UK Institute in Cambridge, where he currently holds a C. J. Martin Fellowship from the the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

For the full text of essays by the regional winners and for information about applying for next year's awards, see Science Online at

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