Biologist Erica Larschan, Ph.D., was named by The Pew Charitable Trusts as the "Scholar of the Month," for her innovative findings on chromosomal activity in fruit flies. 2011 Pew Biomedical Scholar Dr. Larschan led a team of researchers at Brown University in identifying a protein that allows a male fruit fly to double the genetic expression of its single X-chromosome. That advantage, if proven similar in human males, could point the way to treatments for diseases like cancer or schizophrenia, which are associated with abnormal gene regulation.
Dr. Larschan's story is the first in a "Scholar of the Month" series launched by Pew. Since 1985, the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences has provided funding to more than 500 early-career scientists who, like Dr. Larschan, show outstanding promise in science with the potential to advance human health. The Scholars' exceptional research has earned them Nobel Prizes, Lasker Awards, MacArthur Genius Grants and other distinctions-including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for Dr. Larschan.
Experts are available for interviews regarding Dr. Larschan's research and the program:
Erica Larschan, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry, Brown University
Anita Pepper, Ph.D., director of the Pew Programs in the Biomedical Sciences