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November 2007 Issue

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Hove Wins 'Highest' Young Scientist Award From U.S. Government

By Dama Ewbank
Published November 2007

UC physiologist Jay Hove, PhD, has been named a winner of the prestigious 2006 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

PECASE is recognized as the highest award offered to young scientists by the U.S. government.

Hove, associate professor of molecular and cellular physiology, received his award Nov. 1 at a White House reception. He is the first scientist from UC to receive the honor.

“Jay is a great example of the caliber of young faculty UC has been able to recruit,” says Jane Henney, MD, senior vice president and provost for health affairs at UC’s Academic Health Center. “His expertise has resulted in numerous research partnerships within UC and with other institutions.”

The PECASE program was initiated by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1996 to honor the “extraordinary achievements of young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers in the fields of science and technology.”

PECASE candidates must be nominated by one of 11 participating U.S. agencies.
Hove’s nomination came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Because the NIH recommends only first-time winners of its R01 research grant program for PECASE awards, scientists have just one shot at an NIH nomination.

“It was extremely humbling just to be nominated for this kind of recognition, let alone to actually be named a winner,” says Hove. “I’m really very grateful to the NIH and its National Center for Research Resources for their support of my work, and to the people in my lab and the great colleagues and mentors I’ve been lucky enough to work with over the years. 

“I’m especially delighted to have the honor of representing UC on such a grand stage and am thankful for the tremendous support the university has given me as I have developed my research program.”

Hove began his scientific career at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), studying the movement of water around swimming fish. UC recruited him in 2004 to head up the zebrafish facility at the Genome Research Institute, where he switched his focus to studying the “flow” of fluid and cells within organs and organ systems with the aid of these freshwater tropicals.

In 2006, Hove was awarded a four-year, $1.53 million R01 grant from the National Center for Research Resources of the NIH to create a laser-illuminated “4-D camera.”

He hopes the camera will provide scientists with a better way to study cell and fluid movement in three dimensions plus the fourth “D”—real time.

Hove is working with colleagues at Caltech and the University of Washington to take Caltech’s prototype 4-D camera technology and redesign it to fit on the end of a microscope.

Hove says he hopes to have the technology ready by the end of grant period and suspects that it will be useful to researchers studying flow not only in zebrafish models, but also in cultured cells and in other animal models where tissues and blood vessels are transparent enough to view.

“Jay joins the growing list of distinguished research faculty here at the University of Cincinnati,” says UC President Nancy Zimpher.

“We’re extremely proud of his accomplishments and we’re thrilled to add a PECASE award to the lineup of honors received by one of our own.”


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