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Einstein Geneticist Wins Sloan Research Fellowship

February 23, 2011 – (BRONX, NY) – Ertugrul Özbudak, Ph.D., assistant professor of genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, has won a 2011 Sloan Research Fellowship. Dr. Özbudak was selected for his research into the genetic causes of vertebral malformations that occur during embryonic development and lead to debilitating childhood and adult diseases, including scoliosis, disfigurement, and back and neck pain.

Ertugrul Özbudak, Ph.D.
Ertugrul Özbudak, Ph.D.
This year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation named 118 researchers, drawn from 54 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Dr. Özbudak is one of only 12 researchers chosen in the field of molecular biology. The two-year, $50,000 fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields.

“I am honored to have been selected for this fellowship,” said Dr. Özbudak. “I look forward to working further on this problem, which affects so many people – and making a contribution to a solution.”

“Ertugrul is one of those bright young scientists who can singlehandedly move a field forward, sometimes in entirely unexpected directions,” said Jan Vijg, Ph.D., professor and chair of genetics and the Lola and Saul Kramer Chair in Molecular Genetics. “He is a great choice as a Sloan Fellow and we expect a lot from him.”
Sloan Fellows may use their grants to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them, and they are permitted to use fellowship funds in a variety of ways to further their research. Dr. Özbudak plans to use his fellowship to continue his work on the genetic causes of vertebral malformations.

Three members of Einstein’s faculty have previously been named Sloan Research Fellows: Odelia Schwartz, Ph.D. (2008), Hannes Erich Beulow, Ph.D. (2007), and Lloyd Fricker, Ph.D. (1988), all for their work in neuroscience.

Given annually since 1955, the fellowships are awarded in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics.