FOCUS Newsletters

November 2013

On this edition of FOCUS In Sound, we welcome a married couple of researchers, both of whom have been recipients of Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant support – Doctors Alice Chen-Plotkin and Joshua Plotkin. 

September 2013

Addressing the Benefits and Challenges of Turning Discovery into a Business

By definition, scientists and entrepreneurs are both innovators. They shatter the status quo, either by uncovering misconceptions about the way the world works or by creating solutions to society’s most pressing concerns. 


June 2013

As a program officer at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Rusty Kelley is now finding himself exposed to a broad spectrum of areas in biomedical research and education. His recent move to BWF represents a shift in his career from being focused on clinical product development to becoming engaged in developing under- appreciated areas of science and advancing the careers of a broad range of elite early career scientists.

“The breadth and quality of the scientific exposure at BWF is refreshing,” Kelley said.  “The strategic aspect of my position to identify and build programs around undervalued science, particularly in areas that I have expertise in, was attractive.”

August 2012

When Jerry Strauss, M.D., Ph.D., started his scientific career in the 1970’s, no one was talking about the notion of a work-life balance. Research was a monastic tradition of long hours and little glory, and Strauss accepted that.

“I worked like crazy and my family life was a blur -- I don’t even remember my children growing up,” said Strauss, dean of the school of medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University. “But it was worthwhile because I was trying to achieve something, to solve medical problems through my work in the laboratory.”

In 2009, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund commissioned a series of articles by science writer Marla Broadfoot to look at the landscape for women in the biomedical sciences. Broadfoot was given free range to explore the subject area, and the articles were published in the Fund’s FOCUS newsletter. The first article appeared in July 2009 and was circulated through social media. Given the popularity of the articles, it was decided to compile them in the hope that they would inspire more thought and discussion.

Dr. Kent Hill is professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA. He received his B.S. degree from Northern Illinois University, with a double major in Chemistry and Biology. He worked as a product development scientist at Abbott Laboratories in Chicago and subsequently received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at UCLA. He went on for postdoctoral studies at the University of Iowa, and then he returned to UCLA to set up his own lab in 2001. He was named a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases in 2008, with the five-year award funding his research into cell-to-cell communication and social motility in the pathogenesis and development of African trypanosomes.

When you think of a typical high school science class, the names Jeffrey Dahmer and Son of Sam probably don't spring to mind. But this is no typical science class. And Tamica Stubbs is no typical educator. And those serial killers in the curriculum? They are just the tip of the iceberg.

Stubbs, a recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers, teaches a forensic science class at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte. The set-up for the class, which she has been teaching since coming to the school last year, is unlike most. Instead of a day-to-day lesson plan, Stubbs operates on a weekly schedule organized around hands-on, investigative case studies.