chemist David Lynn has been named one of twenty
inaugural Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) professors
nationwide, each of whom will receive $1 million over
the next four years to put undergraduates in touch with
the thrill of scientific discovery.
grants are thought to be among the largest of their kind,
according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Lynns
is believed to be one of the most generous awards given
specifically to enhance the classroom experience at Emory.
Lynns proposal was one of 150 reviewed from eighty-four
research universities; other grant recipients include
professors from Yale, Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford,
and a former Emory faculty member, Isiah Warner, of Louisiana
the Asa Griggs Candler professor of chemistry and biology,
plans to develop new courses and material for undergraduate
science students that highlight the research breakthroughs
of graduate students and faculty members. He hopes this
type of immediate, sophisticated exposure will jump-start
the younger students interest in science as a potential
concept behind the grant is to find ways of stimulating
more undergraduate students to recognize the value of
graduate research, Lynn says. So the focus
here is trying to highlight the discoveries that have
been made on the Emory campus through graduate research.
first course Lynn plans to create will be a freshman seminar
studying the ways in which order emerges. This may involve
examining how molecules assemble or finding order in the
seemingly random patterns of outer spaceboth areas
in which Emory researchers have made significant discoveries.
benefit of [having undergraduates relate to] graduate
students is that there is more of a peer relationship,
a feeling of, This is something I could do, this
is happening right here around me, Lynn says.
grant money also will be used to support and expand other
ongoing HHMI-sponsored programs. In September, Emory received
a four-year, $1.6-million grant from HHMI to expand its
undergraduate biology and science outreach programs.
is advancing at a breathtaking pace, but many university
students are still learning science in the same old way,
by listening to lectures, memorizing facts, and doing
cookbook lab experiments, says HHMI President Thomas
R. Cech. We want to empower scientists at research
universities to become more involved in breaking the mold
and bringing the excitement of research to science education.
is a non-profit medical research organization that employs
hundreds of leading biomedical scientists. Through grants,
HHMI seeks to enhance science education at all levels
and maintain the vigor of biomedical science worldwide.
Headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with labs all
over the U.S., the institute is one of the worlds