Published: May 12, 1997

A University of Colorado at Boulder researcher has been awarded a $525,000 grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to study chromosome movements during cell division, a project that may help lead to new treatments for diseases.

Alan Hunt, a postdoctoral researcher in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, was one of only 18 researchers in the nation to receive the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award. The prestigious five-year awards are intended to enhance the scientific development and productivity of outstanding young biomedical investigators in the United States and Canada.

Hunt uses a focused beam of infrared laser light known as “optical tweezers” to tug on chromosomes and measure forces generated by proteins known as molecular motors. Understanding how molecular motors work in cell division may help medical researchers develop new methods of attacking cancer and genetic diseases.

The award provides up to two years of postdoctoral support and three years of support during the recipient’s initial faculty appointment.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund of Durham, N.C., is an independent, private foundation established to advance the medical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.