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UW-Madison oncology professor named Shaw Scientist

May 19, 2011 By Terry Devitt

Two Wisconsin researchers, including a University of Wisconsin–Madison oncologist, have been named Shaw Scientists by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

The Foundation announced today (May 19, 2011) that Yongna Xing, a UW–Madison assistant professor of oncology, and Christopher Quinn, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, are recipients of the Shaw Scientist designation, an award that comes with $200,000 in unrestricted research support.

Xing is a biochemist and structural biologist. Her research centers on a protein important for the function of cells. Knowledge of the protein’s structure and how it works in the cell promises insight into how cancer resists treatment. The work could, in the future, lead to alternative therapies for cancer treatment.

Quinn is a neuroscientist who studies axons, the filamentous fibers of a nerve cell that are critical for transmitting information from cell-to-cell in the brain. His work on axons, how they arise and make connections could help provide a better understanding of what goes wrong when conditions like Down syndrome and autism arise.

Shaw Scientists are selected by a panel of prominent researchers from around the country. Begun in 1982 with a $4.3 million bequest from Dorothy Shaw, widow of James Shaw, a prominent Milwaukee attorney, the program has distributed nearly $11 million to 60 researchers to support cutting-edge research.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is a family of more than one thousand individual charitable funds, each created to serve specific charitable causes. Begun in 1915, it is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the world.