New Assistant Professor among Searle scholarsPrize provides $180,000 in funding for three years Milan Mrksich, a new Assistant Professor in Chemistry, has been named a 1996 Searle scholar, one of 15 junior scholars nationwide so honored by the Searle Scholars Program, administered by the Chicago Community Trust.
As a Searle scholar, Mrksich will receive a total of $180,000 in research funding over the next three years. He is the first University faculty member in chemistry to be awarded the fellowship.
Mrksich, a Chicago native, joined the University faculty April 15. His research interests are in the areas of sequence-specific recognition of RNA by synthetic molecules and mechanisms of cell interactions and motility. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1989 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Caltech in 1994. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard for two years before joining the Chicago faculty.
The Searle Scholars Program honors young scholars who have conducted innovative research and who have given evidence of having the potential to make significant contributions to biological research over an extended period of time.
The awards are supported through trusts established by the estates of John G. and Frances C. Searle. John Searle was president of G.D. Searle & Co., a research-based pharmaceutical company in Skokie, Ill. The Searles expressed the wish that proceeds from their estates be used to support research in medicine, chemistry and biological science. Since the program began in 1981, nearly $47 million in grants has been awarded.