UW–Madison biochemist named HHMI Freeman Hrabowski Scholar

Judith Simcox

Judith Simcox

If you walk into the office of biochemistry Professor Judith Simcox — named today to the first cohort of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program — you’re likely to find that she’s not alone. That’s because Simcox values her role as mentor and educator as much as she values the transformational research coming out of her lab.

“I can’t explain how grateful I am for this award,” Simcox says of the HHMI honor. “This award is not just about excellence in science, but also in mentorship. We must define excellence by both innovative research and investing in the scientific community. HHMI does a good job at that, and I feel really honored.”

This year, HHMI’s new, $1.5 billion Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program will support 31 outstanding early-career researchers committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in science.

“Each of our Freeman Hrabowski Scholars has demonstrated their unique potential to advance cutting-edge science and carve out pathways for the inclusive development of postdocs, students and other researchers,” says HHMI Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Leslie Vosshall. “We are thrilled to welcome this inaugural cohort to HHMI, and we are proud to support each Scholar’s contributions to the broader scientific community in the years to come.”

Simcox’s approach to science is twofold: She is working toward increasing diversity in the populations included in biomedical studies, and she is hiring researchers who will help to broaden the ways her lab approaches and asks research questions.

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