Icon of chat bubbles


Michael Boyce, Elena Gracheva, and Zachary Knight Receive 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Michael Boyce, Elena Gracheva, and Zachary Knight

Three Rita Allen Scholars have been selected as recipients of this year’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest recognition granted by the United States government for outstanding scientists and engineers at the beginning of independent research careers.

Michael Boyce (a 2013 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar) is researching the role of protein glycosylation in mammalian cell signaling at Duke University. His research focuses on how cell signaling relates to human health and diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration, and diabetes.

Elena Gracheva (2013), at Yale School of Medicine, examines how mammals regulate their internal temperature during hibernation, which has implications for a number of applications, including medical interventions that require lowering a patient’s core body temperature.

Zachary Knight (2014), of the University of California, San Francisco, is being recognized for his research in neural mechanisms that control hunger, thirst, and thermoregulation. He investigates how the brain and body work together to sense needs such as thirst.

The National Science and Technology Council presented the first PECASE in 1996 as a way to highlight United States leadership in science and technology. Researchers are nominated for the award by participating agencies (NIH, NASA, NSF, etc.) for their potential as future leaders in their respective fields. The award is also intended to enrich connections between fundamental research and national goals, as well as promote advancement in science and technology.