MSI Faculty Receive Simons Foundation Awards


Two MSI Principal Investigators have received awards from the New York-based Simons Foundation, a foundation funding research in basic science and math.

Assistant Professor Burkhard Seelig, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics and member of the BioTechnology Institute (BTI), has been named to the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life. He also received a five-year, $1 million grant from the organization. The collaboration is a multi-disciplinary team investigating the origins of life and planetary conditions that could support them. Professor Seelig uses MSI resources for protein analysis and to store huge libraries of nucleic acids. An article about his work appears on the BTI’s website.

Assistant Professor Jake Bailey, Department of Earth Sciences, received a 2015 Simons Early Career Investigator Award in the field of Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution. His project will study the largest known bacteria, Thiomargarita spp. These giant bacteria are involved in biogeochemical cycling of carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus. A complete description appears on the Simons Foundation website. Professor Bailey uses MSI resources to perform single-gene and whole-genome sequence data on sulfur bacteria.