Boettcher Foundation announces its 2016 class of Boettcher Investigators

Boettcher Foundation announces its 2016 class of Boettcher Investigators

June 7, 2016 – The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees today announced its 2016 class of Boettcher Investigators in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. The 10 new Boettcher Investigators work in teaching and research positions at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, University of Denver, and National Jewish Health.

The prestigious award supports promising, early-career scientific researchers, allowing them to advance their independent research and compete for major federal and private awards in the future. Each Boettcher Investigator will receive a $235,000 grant to support up to three years of biomedical research.

The 2016 Class of Boettcher Investigators in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Awards program includes:

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

  • Wen-Yuan Elena Hsieh, MD, Assistant Professor of Immunology & Microbiology and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology – Immune dysregulation in pediatric SLE pathogenesis
  • Ethan G. Hughes, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology – Intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms regulating cortical remyelination
  • Bernard L. Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medical Physics – Achieving safe and effective dose escalation in pancreatic SBRT through tumor tracking and robust treatment planning
  • Cristin Welle, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Bioengineering – Development of high-density neural sensors for bioelectronics therapeutics
  • Hongjin Zheng, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics – Mechanical studies of disease-related substrates entering mitochondria via protein import machinery TOM-TIM

Colorado State University

  • Rushika Perera, PhD, Assistant Professor of RNA Virology – Exploiting vulnerabilities in mosquito metabolism for prevention of human arboviral transmission
  • Timothy J. Stasevich, PhD Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Imaging cancer epigenetics in living cells

University of Denver

  • Schuyler B. van Engelenburg, PhD, Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Biological Sciences – Site-specific targeting of engineered retroviruses to the Interleukin 2 Receptor locus for correction of genetic immunodeficiency

University of Colorado Boulder

  • Sabrina Leigh Spencer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry – Elucidating the causes and consequences of slow-cycling cells within isogenic population

National Jewish Health

  • James L. Crooks, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and BioinformaticsWildfire smoke and pediatric asthma

Tim Schultz, President and Executive Director of the Boettcher Foundation, says:

“We are proud to continue the Webb-Waring legacy by supporting Colorado’s top scientific minds. The research they are conducting has the potential to significantly improve human health, and we are honored to help these talented scientists bring their research to the next level.”

 April Giles, President & CEO of CBSA, says:

“Colorado’s life science sector values our most promising scientific minds, which contribute to building a robust ecosystem in our state. The Boettcher Foundation and the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards make a long-term commitment in support of that goal. We are grateful to the Foundation for advancing scientific research in Colorado through its early investments in people and their possibilities.”

Now in its seventh year, the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research program honors the commitments of the Webb and Waring families to scientific research and public service. Including the Class of 2016, 45 Boettcher Investigators at the state’s leading academic and research institutions have received funding through the Webb-Waring program.

About the Boettcher Foundation

At Boettcher we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. For more information, visit

Boettcher Investigators Class of 2016
Back row: Cristin Welle, Schuyler B. Van Engelenburg, Hongjin Zheng,  Rushika Perera,
Ethan G. Hughes, Timothy J. Stasevich, Bernard L. Jones, James L. Crooks
Front row: Wen-Yuan Elena Hsieh, Tim Schultz, Sabrina L. Spencer


Kristi Arellano

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