The University Record, February 11, 1997

U geneticist receives Presidential Career Award

By Kristen Lidke
Medical Center Public Relations


David T. Burke, assistant professor of human genetics at the Medical Center, is one of only 60 young researchers nationwide to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

The five-year, $500,000 grant will allow Burke, a basic scientist and biomedical engineer, to continue his ongoing research of mammalian aging and the development of microchip technology for DNA analysis.

"This five-year commitment is unusual for a research grant and permits the luxury of developing long-range projects," Burke says. "This award is really targeted to getting some serious science done."

Burke, an assistant research scientist in the Institute of Gerontology, is using mice to help identify the genes that influence life span and to determine how aging affects the stability of genes. His microfabrication work involves constructing microchip-based DNA-analysis devices that are inexpensive and portable, enabling researchers to conduct genetic testing in the clinic or the field. His microchip research is being conducted in collaboration with researchers Mark Burns, chemical engineer; and Carlos Mastrangelo, electrical engineer and computer scientist.