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Molecular Biologist Andrew Holland Wins President's Frontier Award

February 15 Hub Staff Report

The $250,000 Award Will Help The Molecular Biologist Continue His Research on Cell Division

Cell division is the fundamental process for life. But when it goes awry, life itself can be threatened.

The fragile balance of centrosomes within animal cells and the cellular functions these organelles control are essential to a form of cell division called mitosis. That’s where molecular biologist Andrew Holland focuses his research.

Andrew Holland portrait
Andrew Holland

“We’ve been trying to understand if there are differences in the way healthy cells and tumor cells divide, and if we can exploit those differences in therapies to selectively destroy dividing tumor cells and spare the healthy cells,” said Holland, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and the Department of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

In a surprise virtual presentation last week, Holland received the $250,000 President’s Frontier Award in recognition of the outstanding promise of his work. The meeting, arranged under the guise of a final interview between Holland, JHU President Ronald J. Daniels, and Provost Sunil Kumar, was “Zoom bombed” by proud members of Holland’s lab, his colleagues, and members of Holland’s family—including his wife and children and his parents, who called in from their home in the United Kingdom to share the moment with their son.

He is the seventh Johns Hopkins faculty member to win the award, which celebrates individuals who are breaking new ground and are poised to become leaders in their field. The award affords researchers the freedoms to pursue new lines of research, expand their laboratories, and support their lab members.

The President’s Frontier Award was originally launched with a commitment of $2.5 million from trustee Louis J. Forster, A&S ’82, SAIS ’83, and is now partnered with a $1 million donation from alumnus David Smilow, A&S ’84. The goal of this award is to support exceptional scholars among the Johns Hopkins faculty who are on the cusp of transforming their fields. The award recognizes one person each year with $250,000 in funding for their work and beginning in 2021, top finalists are also recognized with substantial funding.

Read more about Holland’s research and the President’s Frontier Award at The Hub. 

Topics: Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Support Scholars