Local Boys Make Good: Two Xconomists Win the Day, One Literally
Tuesday was a great day for two of our favorite Xconomists (not that we don’t love all of them), and we’ve been remiss in not giving them a shout-out sooner.
First off, Boston University bioengineer Jim Collins, already tapped as a genius by the MacArthur Foundation, among other honors, won an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. The prestigious $2.5 million grant “supports exceptionally creative scientists who propose highly innovative—and potentially transformative—approaches to major challenges in biomedical research.” Jim was one of six Boston-area scientists to win the award this year (only 12 were given), the best performance of any region in the competition’s four-year history.
A few million dollars is nice and all, but one thing Jim didn’t get on Tuesday is his very own official holiday. That honor went to Harvard Medical School stem cell researcher Willy Lensch. Willy was wrapping up a two-year appointment as an advisor to the state of Connecticut when he was surprised with a commendation from the governor, M. Jodi Rell, who proclaimed Tuesday, September 18th, 2007 to be “Dr. Willy Lensch Day” (in the state of Connecticut). Willy made the mistake of e-mailing me the photographic evidence before he remembered that I’m a ruthless journalist who believes all information must be disseminated. Click here to see the commendation (and to make Willy blush).