CU leads fifth class of Boettcher Investigators

Webb-Waring Biomedical Research awardees working toward improving human health
By Staff

Four University of Colorado medical researchers are among the 2014 Class of Boettcher Investigators in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program. Each early career scientist will receive a grant of $225,000 to further groundbreaking work that holds promise for improving human health.

The announcement was made June 3 by Theodore F. Schlegel, M.D., chairman of the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees. Starting its fifth year, the Boettcher Investigators program provides for the discovery of new knowledge that improves human health through the investment in and advancement of early career scientists.

“The Boettcher Foundation Board is pleased to celebrate our fifth class in this very specialized and important niche of biomedical research,” Schlegel said. “Our investigators now number 29, and several of our early Investigators are already achieving significant advancements in their areas of research.”

The 2014 Class of Boettcher Investigators in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program from CU are:

Roger A. Bannister, Ph.D., CU Anschutz Medical Campus, assistant professor of medicine, Cardiology Division. Skeletal and cardiac muscle physiology.
Subhajyoti De, Ph.D., CU Anschutz Medical Campus, assistant professor of biomedical informatics and personalized medicine. Cancer genomics; lung cancer; somatic mutations; NA damage and repair; algorithm development; optimization.
Loren Hough, Ph.D., CU-Boulder, assistant professor of physics. Structural biology of order and disordered proteins.
Kunhua Song, Ph.D., CU Anschutz Medical Campus, assistant professor of medicine. Regenerative medicine and heart development/disease.

Other researchers joining the four CU scientists in the 2014 Class of Boettcher Investigators in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program: Christopher L. Gentile, Ph.D., Colorado State University, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition (Molecular causes of vascular dysfunction); Amy B. Dounay, Ph.D., Colorado College, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry (Medicinal chemistry for African Sleeping Sickness); and Rachel L. Zemans, M.D., National Jewish Hospital, assistant professor of medicine (Resolution of Alveolar Epithelial Permeability after Lung Injury). 

“The new class of Boettcher Investigators represents some of the finest scientific minds in the state, and we are honored to have the opportunity to support their research, which has the potential to have significant impacts on human health,” said Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation.

Boettcher Investigators are awarded grants of $225,000, covering up to three years of research with a goal for these early career scientists to establish themselves and become competitive for major awards from federal agencies and private foundations. With the addition of the 2014 Class, there are now 29 Boettcher Investigators conducting research in the following Colorado institutions: CU Anschutz Medical Campus, CU-Boulder, Colorado State University, National Jewish Health, Colorado School of Mines and Colorado College.

The Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program was created in 2008, as the result of an innovative agreement among the Boettcher Foundation, the Webb-Waring Foundation for Biomedical Research and the University of Colorado. Through the program, the Boettcher Foundation now invests more than $1.5 million each year into efforts to increase Colorado's competitiveness in biomedical science.

“We've made every effort to ensure that the legacies of the Webb and Waring families live on in the discovery of new knowledge to improve human health and in the advancement of young scientists,” Schultz said.

When the leadership of the Boettcher Foundation set about establishing its Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards, one of the primary aims was to ensure that the funding was focused in an area where it would have the greatest impact. After intensive research and thoughtful consideration, it was determined that providing support to Early Career Investigators during that critical gap between working under other researchers and securing major independent funding would be the most effective area the Foundation could support.

Early Career Investigators are faculty members who are four years or less from their first academic appointment at a research institution. The grants awarded by the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program support the work of the promising Early Career Investigators in Colorado. Eligible investigators apply through a competitive process within their respective institutions.

Founded by the Boettcher Family in 1937 to effectively assist, encourage and promote a better quality of life for the citizens of Colorado, the Boettcher Foundation invests in Colorado through “minds and mortar.” The Foundation funds Scholarships, biomedical research and teacher training, as well as capital grants for nonprofits. For more information, visit