Earlier this year, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced the selection of 25 exceptional early-career scientists as 2022 Hanna Gray Fellows. This year's cohort of Hanna Gray Fellows includes a plant-microbe trainee,
Dr. Shanice Webster, at Duke University.
From the HHMI website: Shanice Webster is mentored by
Sheng Yang He and is examining tritrophic interactions among plants, pathogens, and the microbiome to uncover the general principles and mechanistic underpinnings of how pathogens and the microbiome influence each other in plant pathogenesis. Understanding these interactions is critical to understanding disease at a holistic level. Given the importance of plant–microbe interactions to plant health and food security, Webster hopes that her study can lead to new insights and methods of disease interventions to improve global sustainability in the face of climate change.
The program is named for
Hanna Holborn Gray, former chair of the HHMI Board of Trustees and former president of the University of Chicago. Under Gray's leadership, HHMI developed initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion in science education. HHMI continues to carry forward this work on college and university campuses across the United States.
Fellows receive funding for their postdoctoral training and may continue to receive funding during their early career years as independent faculty. In total, Fellows may receive up to $1.4 million each and be supported for up to eight years. In keeping with HHMI's ethos of supporting "people, not projects," Fellows will have the freedom to follow their curiosity and study the scientific questions that matter most—changing direction as needed—for the duration of the award.
A competition for the next group of Hanna Gray Fellows opens immediately. In 2023, the Institute will again select up to 25 Fellows. This grant competition is open to all eligible applicants, and no nomination is required. Applicants may obtain more information and eligibility requirements at www.hhmi.org/hanna-h-gray-fellows. The deadline for applications is December 7, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. (ET). The selection of Fellows will be made by late June 2023.