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Biochemistry/Biophysics alumnus wins prize for young scientists

Alumnus wins 2014 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists

Biochemistry/Biophysics alumnus Simon Johnson (‘09) was a category winner in the 2014 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists for his essay on translational medicine: "A Novel Target for Pharmacological Intervention in an Untreatable Human Disease." His essay was published online at Science.

Simon Johnson in front of blurry backdrop
Alumnus Simon Johnson (’09)

Founded in 1880 with financial assistance from Thomas Edison, Science has become the world's leading outlet for scientific news, commentary, and cutting-edge research.

Recognizing that global economic health is dependent upon a vibrant research community, Science, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and SciLifeLab sought to incent the best and brightest to continue in their chosen fields of research. Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) is a Swedish national center for molecular biosciences formed in 2010 with focus on health and environmental research.

The two organizations joined forces to create the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists in order to provide extra encouragement as young scientists begin their careers, especially given the difficult economic environment. The grand prizewinner will receive a prize of $25,000 and each of the three category winners will receive $3,000.

Johnson is currently an American Federation for Aging Research Fellow in the department of genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. His current work focuses on characterizing the role of naturally occurring genetic variation in insulin/IGF-1/mTOR signaling genes on human longevity.

In 2009, Johnson was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute EXROP scholar and was previously supported by the Nathan Shock Center Genetic Approaches to Aging pre-doctoral and Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Diseases post-doctoral competitive training grants.

He earned his B.S. degree in biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University and received his PhD in the Molecular Basis of Disease in the department of pathology at the University of Washington.