BOSTON – November 8, 2010 – Amy Wagers, Ph.D., a Principal Investigator at Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard Medical School, has been given a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Dr. Wagers, who is also a Principal Faculty Member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist, was among 85 young researchers named for the Presidential Early Career Award this year. The awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service. 

"Science and technology have long been at the core of America’s economic strength and global leadership," said President Barack Obama, who will present the awards at a White House ceremony. "I am confident that these individuals, who have shown such tremendous promise so early in their careers, will go on to make breakthroughs and discoveries that will continue to move our nation forward in the years ahead.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Wagers, “and I am very grateful to the President for his continued strong support of scientific research.”

Research in the Wagers lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms that regulate the function of blood-forming and muscle-forming adult stem cells so that their potential can be exploited for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, anemia and muscular dystrophy. 

The work for which Dr. Wagers received this award has been supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). It seeks to uncover the ways in which tissue inflammation may impede the ability of muscle stem cells to support regeneration and repair in aging skeletal muscle. 

Dr. Wagers received her Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis at Northwestern University in 1999. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow in stem cell biology at the lab of Irving Weissman in Stanford University before coming to Joslin in 2004. Among her recent honors are the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, the Smith Family Prize and the W.M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholars Award.

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