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Jie Xiao Wins Inaugural Hamilton Smith Award for Innovative Research - 04/27/2015

Jie Xiao Wins Inaugural Hamilton Smith Award for Innovative Research

Release Date: April 27, 2015
Jie Xiao
Jie Xiao
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Jie Xiao, Ph.D., an associate professor of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has won the inaugural Hamilton Smith Award for Innovative Research. The award provides research funds for promising junior researchers at the medical school whose work is laying the foundation for future medical advances. It is named for a Nobel Prize winner whose discovery (see VIDEO) while he was a young faculty member at Johns Hopkins revolutionized the field of biology. Hamilton Smith discovered restriction enzymes, which cut DNA. Researchers have since harnessed their power to sequence the human genome and develop new medicines, among many other applications.

Xiao works at the frontier of imaging dynamic processes in live cells. She and her team have devised novel methods to visualize the dynamics of how gene use is turned “up” and “down,” and have also pioneered the use of very-high-resolution imaging to find out the structural and functional details of bacterial cell division.

Xiao’s work has been recognized by a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She has also been active in outreach efforts and founded the Fun with Science Summer Camp, an annual weeklong program that exposes Baltimore City middle school students to the excitement of science through hands-on activities.

The Hamilton Smith Award for Innovative Research is derived from the Hamilton Smith Fund, established by professor Jeremy Nathans and more than 50 colleagues and alumni of Johns Hopkins Medicine to generate an annual award for junior faculty members from one of the nine departments of Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. Johns Hopkins recognizes the Hamilton Smith Fund as a contribution to Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins, an effort to raise $4.5 billion to support students, faculty, advances in research and clinical care, and interdisciplinary solutions to some of humanity’s most important problems. The campaign, supporting both The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, was publicly launched in May 2013 and is targeted for completion in 2017. Including the Hamilton Smith Fund, more than $3 billion has been committed so far.