UAlbany Assistant Professor of Biology Ing-Nang Wang receives this year’s prestigious Sloan Foundation award.
Professor Wang is among 117 outstanding recipients who have been chosen to receive an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation research fellowship. The winners, who are faculty members from 50 colleges and universities across the nation, were selected from among hundreds of highly qualified scientists and economists on the basis of their exceptional promise to contribute to the advancement of knowledge. Other schools represented were Stanford University, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, University of California at Berkeley, Irvine and Los Angeles, and the University of Chicago. Twenty-eight former Sloan fellows have gone on to win Nobel prizes and hundreds have received other prestigious awards and honors.
UAlbany Professors David Shub and Caro-Beth Stewart (who chaired the search committee) felt that Dr. Wang was an exceptional candidate. "In addition to a strong record of achievement, fellows are expected to have displayed exceptional creativity and independent thought at an early career stage – attributes that Dr. Wang clearly possesses. We are proud, but not surprised, that he was selected," said Shub.
Wang is a molecular biologist whose research has taken two directions. The first is purely academic. "It involves the use of bacteriophage, viruses that infect bacteria, as a model system to study various issues of the evolution of life history traits. The long-term goal is to integrate the molecular details of a system into an ecological and evolutionary perspective," said Wang. The second project involves the isolation of various lysis proteins from small bacteriophages, with the hope that these lysis proteins can be used as an alternative source for antibiotic drug design.
Once chosen, Sloan fellows are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry most interest them. This flexibility is of great value to young scientist who are at a pivotal stage in establishing their own independent research projects.
In addition to his research Professor Wang is co-teaching Evolution for undergraduate biology majors with Jason Cryan of the New York State Museum. Next semester he will be co-teaching with Timothy Gage, Human Population Genetics, a requirement for forensic scientists.