JCVI: Venter Institute Announces Summer Fellowship in Memory of Local Resident
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Press Release 10-Mar-2006



Venter Institute Announces Summer Fellowship in Memory of Local Resident

Cookbook sales by student athletes contribute to Dan Stryer Fellowship for cancer research

ROCKVILLE, MD — March 10, 2006 — The J. Craig Venter Institute announced today a dedicated summer fellowship focusing on cancer research in honor of local resident Daniel Benjamin Stryer, MD, who passed away at age 41 from brain cancer in May 2005. Funds for the fellowship totaling $20,000 were raised by a local group of student athletes who published a cookbook, Cooking for a Cure, to raise money for cancer research. Funds include contributions made by key scientists at the Venter Institute.

"More than 500,000 people die from cancer each year," noted Michael Brownstein, MD, director of functional genomics at the Venter Institute. "Our oncology programs at the Venter Institute are focused on better understanding cancer at the genomic level using the most advanced methods in bioinformatics and functional genomics. This fellowship will enable a qualified student to learn first hand from leading scientists and contribute to cancer research initiatives."

Currently accepting applications for the fellowship, the Venter Institute will select a high school or college student to learn scientific techniques from Venter Institute scientists. During the three-month fellowship, the student will apply these techniques to assist in studying genomic and environmental variables that contribute to the development and progression of complex human diseases, including cancer.

"When first working on the cookbook, we asked family and friends for help in gathering recipes and were surprised to have the community rally around our cause. We ended up with 450 recipes from young cooks to gourmet chefs," said Dana Simms, Dr. Stryer's niece and a junior at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. Ms. Simms spearheaded developing the cookbook with 11 local swim team members ranging in age from 15 to 19 in memory of friends and family who have suffered from cancer, including Dr. Stryer. "Each of us knows someone who has been afflicted with cancer. It has affected us all and we wanted to do something tangible about it."

Dr. Stryer served for several years as director of the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Stryer also was an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the George Washington Medical School in Washington, D.C. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

For further information and application details on the Dan Stryer Fellowship, please visit: http://www.venterinstitute.org/education/fellowship.php. To purchase a Cooking for the Cure cookbook ($15 each), please visit: www.geocities.com/danabari89.

About The J. Craig Venter Institute

The J. Craig Venter Institute is a not-for-profit research institute dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics; the understanding of its implications for society; and communication of those results to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers. Founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., the Institute is home to approximately 200 staff and scientists with expertise in human and evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics/informatics, information technology, high-throughput DNA sequencing, genomic and environmental policy research, and public education in science and science policy. The J. Craig Venter Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization. For additional information, please visit http://www.venterinstitute.org.

Media Contacts

Melanie Wranaker
J. Craig Venter Institute

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