UW News

April 1, 2002

Researcher named winner of presidential award

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is naming Dr. Marshall S. Horwitz, associate professor in the University of Washington Department of Medicine’s Division of Medical Genetics, a winner of the 2001 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Horwitz is also an investigator in the Markey Center for Molecular Medicine, as well as adjunct associate professor of pathology and genome sciences.

PECASE is awarded to 60 researchers each year. President Bill Clinton established the award in 1996 to recognize exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of science. It is the highest early career award to scientists and engineers presented by the federal government. Horwitz and the other winners will receive their awards from President George W. Bush in a White House ceremony later this year.

Horwitz said he feels honored.

“I’m delighted to receive this award,” Horwitz said. “This adds a couple of years of guaranteed funding to my current grant, so I can spend more time on research. There is certainly some peace of mind that comes with the reward in that respect, along with the recognition.”

Horwitz was the first recipient of the Fialkow Scholar Award, named for the late Dean Philip Fialkow, from the UW Department of Medicine in 1997. In 1998 he was awarded a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Award and last year was one of nine investigators selected from more than 100 nominees to receive a Burroughs Wellcome Fund translational research grant.

Horwitz is a University of California, San Diego alumnus. He received a Ph.D. in pathology in 1988 and his medical degree in 1990, both at the UW. He completed his residency at the UW in 1992 and joined the faculty in 1995. Horwitz is an attending physician in general internal medicine and at the Medical Genetics and Family Cancer Genetics Clinic at UW Medical Center. He chairs the second-year course in genetics for medical students.

Horwitz’ research focuses on identifying inherited risk factors for leukemia, lymphoma, and kidney cancer. He has used genetic methods to find mutations in cancer-prone families. Several of the research subjects whose genetic material has been used to find the responsible gene came to attention after they were referred to UW Medical Center. He is studying the molecular biology of blood stem cells under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. David Russell, of the UW Department of Medicine’s Division of Hematology, and Dr. Charles Murry, of the Department of Pathology, received PECASE awards in 2000.