Our program supports early-career faculty proposing bold ideas for cutting-edge research that pushes the boundaries of precision genomics.
The Shurl & Kay Curci Foundation (SKCF) Faculty Scholars program supports early-career faculty whose research aligns with the IGI’s goal to advance human health using precision genomics. The IGI will select one SKCF Faculty Scholar each summer through 2021.
The SKCF Faculty Scholars Program launched in 2017 thanks to a $1 million gift from the Shurl & Kay Curci Foundation.
We are currently not soliciting applications for this program. Please check back in Spring 2021 for the next application period.
Assistant Professor, UC San Francisco
The IGI has awarded the 2020 Shurl & Kay Curci Foundation (SKCF) Faculty Scholars Program award to Alex Pollen, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Alex received training in evolutionary genetics and neuroscience during his Ph.D. studies with David Kingsley at Stanford University and training in stem cell biology and cortical development during his postdoctoral studies with Arnold Kriegstein at UCSF. As a postdoctoral fellow, Alex identified molecular specializations of outer radial glia that may contribute to the developmental and evolutionary expansion of the cerebral cortex. Alex was recognized with the NIH New Innovator Award, and has received awards from the Cajal Club, the Damon Runyon Research Foundation, and the Schmidt Futures Foundation. The Pollen lab at UCSF combines advances in single-cell genomics, genome engineering, and great ape cerebral organoids to study specialized features and vulnerabilities of the human brain.
Pollen will be collaborating with IGI researchers to develop new, CRISPR-based techniques to analyze the genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees across the entire genome — and how those differences affect human health. Learn more about his new research here.