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07/17/1998 07:00:00

Professor Bruce Hay Named 1998 Ellison Medical Scholar

PASADENA–The California Institute of Technology is pleased to announce that Bruce Hay, assistant professor of biology, has been named a 1998 Ellison Medical Scholar as part of the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholars in Aging Program. The $200,000 award will support Hay's research over the next four years.

While Hay's work is centered on the study of the regulation of cell death in Drosophila, the topic of the present grant focuses on the development and application of genetic techniques to build sophisticated tools for identifying the relevant proteins that could be drug targets.

Caltech's president, David Baltimore, in endorsing Hay's investigation of apoptosis, a genetically regulated form of cell death that is critical for the normal development and adult function of multicellular organisms, said that "understanding what happens when apoptosis is inappropriately activated is important for investigating the neuronal cell loss associated with acute brain injuries such as stroke, and in degenerative, age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease."

Hay received a BA in biology from Claremont McKenna College in 1982 and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco, in 1989. He held postdoctoral fellowships in the departments of physiology and biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1990 to 1991 and in the department of molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1991 to 1996. He joined the Caltech faculty in 1996.

The Ellison Medical Foundation has been established by a gift from Mr. Laurence J. Ellison to support biomedical research (including basic biology, epidemiology, and clinical investigation) on aging. The Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholars in Aging Program is designed to support new investigators of outstanding promise in the basic biological and clinical sciences relevant to understanding aging processes and age-related diseases and disabilities. The award is intended to provide the significant support to new investigators needed to permit them to become established in the field of aging.

Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and a faculty of about 280 professorial members and 284 research members. The Institute has more than 19,000 alumni. Caltech employs a staff of more than 1,700 on campus and 5,300 at JPL.

Over the years, 26 Nobel Prizes and four Crafoord Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni. Forty-three Caltech faculty members and alumni have received the National Medal of Science; and eight alumni (two of whom are also trustees), two additional trustees, and one faculty member have won the National Medal of Technology. Since 1958, 13 faculty members have received the annual California Scientist of the Year award. On the Caltech faculty there are 75 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the faculty and Board of Trustees, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 46 members of the National Academy of Engineering.

Written by Sue McHugh