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09/08/1995 07:00:00

Caltech Neuroscientist Named a Pew Biomedical Scholar

PASADENA—Erin Schuman, assistant professor of biology at Caltech, has been named a 1995 Pew Scholar by the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. As a Pew Scholar, Schuman will receive $200,000 in support of her research over the next four years.

The Pew Scholars Award will allow Schuman's lab to explore what effect neurotrophic factors—proteins that foster the growth of neurons—have on the transmission of signals across synapses, the junctions between neurons. Specifically, she plans to build an apparatus for recording electrical impulses from neurons grown in culture, in order to examine the effects of neurotrophic factors on miniature synaptic events.

Schuman earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Southern California, where she graduated with honors in psychology and was elected to the academic honorary society Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her doctorate in neuroscience and psychology at Princeton University in 1990, and has held postdoctoral appointments at Princeton and Stanford universities. Schuman joined the Caltech faculty in 1993, and was named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a John Merck Scholar in 1994. Earlier this year she received the 1995 Emerging Scholar Award from the American Association of University Women.

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a national philanthropy based in Philadelphia, support nonprofit activities in the areas of conservation and the environment, culture, education, health and human services, public policy, and religion. Through their grants, the trusts seek to encourage individual development and personal achievement, cross-disciplinary problem solving, and innovative, practical approaches to meet the changing needs of society.