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BME Assistant Professor Wesley Legant is one of 22 early-career scientists and engineers who will each receive $875,000 over five years from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The prestigious Packard Fellowship will enable Dr Legant to enhance his research on new kinds of microscopy techniques to further biomedical discoveries at the UNC School of Medicine, Pharmacology and the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. Upon receiving this award, Legant declared “I’m especially excited and grateful for this award from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. It will allow us to follow new and exciting directions, inspired by what we see under the microscope, and will connect us to an outstanding network of fellows working in very diverse fields.”

Microscopy has enabled fields ranging from chemistry and materials science to biology. Work in the Legant Lab spans the development of cutting-edge fluorescent microscopes, machine learning algorithms for intelligent instrument control and image analysis, and applications to fundamental biological phenomena including cell division, cell migration, and cell differentiation. Earlier this year, Dr. Legant, who is also a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, was named a Searle Scholar, Beckman Young Investigator and NIH New Innovator.

The Packard Fellowships are among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships, designed to allow maximum flexibility in how the funding is used. Starting in 1988, David Packard recognized that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he cofounded, was derived from supporting research and development of science and engineering in university laboratories. Since then, the Foundation has awarded $429 million to support 617 scientists and engineers from 54 national universities. This year’s Fellowships are also supported in part by the Ross M. Brown Family Foundation. Many Congratulations to Dr Legant! To read more about Legant’s award announcement, visit UNC website here. For more information on the 2019 Packard Fellowships, visit the David and Lucile Packard Foundation here.

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