Elizabeth Purdom named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator
We are thrilled to announce that Associate Professor Elizabeth Purdom is among the second cohort of scientists to be named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators following a competition for individual awards. The first competition for individual awards was held in 2016, for awards beginning 2017, and a competition for team-based awards was held in 2018. The award comes with $1 million in unrestricted gift funds over a nonrenewable 5-year term ($200,000 per year), with a start date of March 1, 2022.
Dr. Purdom's general area of research concerns development of statistical methods for high throughput genomic technologies, with her current emphasis being in data from technologies that allow for molecular measurements of a single cell. Molecular data from single-cells has enormous potential to improve understanding of human health, with direct applications in the areas of diagnosis and therapeutic selection. However, current approaches for single-cell data focus on understanding individual cells, and not their effect on the global phenotypes observed on the patient. Dr. Purdom plans to shift the focus of analysis from individual cells to the consideration of the entire single-cell profile of a patient and will develop methodologies that directly connect the molecular quantification of cells to the health outcomes of patients. Her research will open up a broad range of novel uses of single-cell data, such as the prediction of health outcomes on patients from their single-cell measurements.
The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator Program, open to faculty from Stanford University, UC San Francisco, and UC Berkeley, funds innovative, visionary research with the goal of building and sustaining an engaged, interactive, and collaborative community of researchers that spans across disciplines and across the three campuses to help solve critical challenges in biomedicine.
The 86 awardees, who were chosen from nearly 700 applicants through a competitive process judged by nationally recognized external reviewers and a blue-ribbon Selection Advisory Committee, represent a diverse range of disciplines, including basic biological sciences, clinical biomedical sciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer and data sciences, statistics, and public health.
Chancellor Carol T. Christ, Ph.D., said, “We are both proud of, and humbled by, the extraordinary work of our faculty members—changemakers from a diverse array of departments across our campus who have been chosen to receive this generous and essential funding. Now, more than ever, CZ Biohub’s mission to combat and prevent disease is perfectly aligned with our university’s commitment to advancing the greater good through research, public service, and education.”