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2002 Grand Prize Winner

Jared RutterJared Rutter received the grand prize for his essay, "PAS Domains and Metabolic Status Signaling." Dr. Rutter was born in a small Utah town in 1973, where he stayed until graduating from high school in 1991. After spending 2 years in Scotland, he attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and graduated in 1996 with a bachelor±s degree in molecular biology. He went to Dallas, Texas, to pursue graduate studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the molecular biophysics graduate program. Under the guidance of Steve McKnight, Dr. Rutter studied the regulation and function of two proteins involved in sensing metabolic status and controlling cellular biology. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Rutter was appointed as the Sara and Frank McKnight Independent Fellow of Biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern. Dr. Rutter and his wife Deena, who is a successful artist, have three energetic young boys.

Regional Winners

Attila TothEurope
Attila Toth for his essay, ±Cohesin and Monopolin: Two Major Determinants of Chromosome Segregation,± based on his research in the laboratory of Kim Nasmyth at the Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Toth was born in 1973 in Nagykanizsa, a small town in Hungary. Following a childhood dream, he studied biology and genetics at ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University) in Budapest, Hungary, from 1991 to 1996. Here, influenced by Professor Béla Novák, he became interested in the cell cycle. As a graduate student in Dr. Nasmyth±s group, he studied chromosome segregation during mitosis and meiosis in budding yeast. He received his Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of Vienna, but continued his research for another year as part of a collaboration between the Nasmyth lab and the laboratory of John Kilmartin at the MRC±Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. In 2002 he joined the laboratory of Azim Surani at Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK in Cambridge to study meiosis in mice.

Olivier VoinnetEurope
Olivier Voinnet for his essay, ±Molecular Analysis of Post-Transcriptional Gene Silencing,± reporting research carried out with David Baulcombe±s group at the Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. Dr. Voinnet was born in Paris, France. He has a masters degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie) and an engineering degree in agronomy from the ±grande école± Institut National Agronomique Paris. During these studies, he specialized in molecular plant pathology, and specifically in plant viruses. He was fascinated by the phenomenon of gene silencing, which in 1994 had just been discovered in transgenic plants. He met David Baulcombe in 1996 and was enthused by Dr. Baulcombe±s proposal that transgene silencing was probably a manifestation of an antiviral defense system. He joined Dr. Baulcombe±s group, where he continued as a postdoctoral fellow after obtaining his Ph.D. in 2001. During his Ph.D. studies he was awarded a fellowship from the European Community (Training and Mobility of Researchers fellowship) and as a postdoctoral fellow has received financial support from the Royal Society (the UK academy of science) through a Dorothy Hodgkin±s fellowship. He is currently establishing his own laboratory at the Institut de Biologie mol±culaire des Plantes du CNRS, where he will continue to address aspects of RNA silencing.

Wenying ShouNorth America
Wenying Shou for her essay, ±Want to Play the Finale of Mitosis? RENT Instruments from the Nucleolus First!± based on her doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Deshaies at Caltech. Although the regional prize was awarded to Dr. Shou for her rather conventional essay, her collaborators--the budding yeast cells--would claim a share for their diaries on the game with Dr. Shou. The yeast need no introduction. Dr. Shou was born in Hangzhou, China, where her devoted parents were her first teachers. A fateful event led her to Pomona College in Claremont, California, which not only supported her financially with a generous scholarship, but also spoiled her intellectually with a faculty of extraordinary caliber. After earning her BA degree in molecular biology and mathematics from Pomona in 1993, she entered Caltech, where she held a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellowship. The yeast diaries ended abruptly in 2001, when Dr. Shou obtained her Ph.D. Working at the Rockefeller University with a Damon Runyon postdoctoral fellowship and having lived through 9/11 in and with New York City, she is now considered a New Yorker.

Mitsutoshi SetouJapan
Mitsutoshi Setou for his essay, ±Cargo Binding Mechanisms of Molecular Motors,± based on his Ph.D. research carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Nobutaka Hirokawa at Tokyo University. Dr. Setou was born in Kagawa, Japan, and grew up in a suburb of Osaka. He graduated as valedictorian from the University of Tokyo School of Medicine, and received the Yomiuri International Award for Students. His MD degree and residency training were under the guidance of Dr. Kaga and Dr. Yazaki. He joined Dr. Hirokawa±s laboratory in 1996 as a graduate student, and identified a mechanism to link a specific motor with its own cargo. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Medicine, in 2001. He is now a research associate with Dr. Hirokawa±s Laboratory and a PRESTO (Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology) researcher with the Japan Science and Technology Corporation at the Mitsubishi Kagaku Institute of Life Science. He is scheduled to be a visiting researcher in Dr. Bruce Lahn±s laboratory at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Chicago.

Hiroshi TakayanagiJapan
Hiroshi Takayanagi for his essay ±How Does the Immune System Break and Protect Bone? Molecular Cross-Talk in Osteoimmunology,± based on his research at the University of Tokyo. Dr. Takayanagi was born in 1965 in Tokyo. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, in 1990, and started work as an orthopedic surgeon in the University Hospital. During 7 years of clinical experience focused on rheumatology, he encountered many patients who undertook joint replacement surgery despite receiving intensive treatment for pain and inflammation. Thinking that the treatment of arthritis should also be aimed at the prevention of bone destruction, he began doctoral research on the mechanism and regulation of bone destruction in arthritis in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Tokyo. He found that RANKL (receptor activator of NF-kB ligand) is responsible for the formation of osteoclasts in arthritis, but the relation to the immune response was unclear. To further investigate the regulation of osteoclastogenesis by the immune system, Dr. Takayanagi joined the Department of Immunology where, with expert guidance from Dr. Taniguchi, he explored the interaction of immunology and bone. This research was published in two papers in Nature, which called this new field ±osteoimmunology.± Dr. Takayanagi obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 2001. He is currently continuing his interdisciplinary research as an Associate in the Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo. He is also a researcher in the PRESTO program of the JST.

Raul MostoslavskyAll Other Countries
Raul Mostoslavsky for his essay ±The role of chromatin structure in the establishment of κ-chain allelic exclusion.± Dr. Mostoslavsky was born in 1969 in the city of Tucuman, Argentina, and received his MD degree in 1993 from the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Tucuman. He moved to Israel to pursue Ph.D. studies in the Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he was funded through a fellowship from the Israel Ministry of Science and Arts. Under the supervision of Yehudit Bergman and Howard Cedar, he learned to ask the right questions and design the right experiments using tools from both basic immunology and molecular genetics. When he joined the laboratory, methylation had just been shown to correlate with kappa light-chain rearrangement. He was able to decipher the role of chromatin structure in kappa rearrangement, showing that kappa gene demethylation in vivo occurs monoallelicaly and might be the signal recognized by the recombinational machinery to be targeted to this particular allele. Dr. Mostoslavsky received his Ph.D. degree in 2001. He currently holds a postdoctoral position in Professor Alt±s laboratory, The Children±s Hospital±Harvard Medical School, Boston, and was awarded a Human Frontier Science Program fellowship for postdoctoral training. He is married and soon to be the father of a baby girl.

We thank our distinguished panel of judges:
Dr. Floyd Bloom (Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation), Dr. Nicholas Hastie (MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh), Donald Kennedy (Editor-in-Chief, Science), Dr. Richard Losick (Harvard University), and Dr. Suzanne Pfeffer (Stanford University).