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Samantha A. Morris, PhD, an assistant professor of developmental biology and of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a Sloan Research Fellowship in Computational and Evolutionary Molecular Biology. Sloan Research Fellowships support promising early-career scientists.

Morris’ lab studies cell identity, focusing on understanding the molecular pathways that determine how stem cells end up becoming specific cell types, such as liver or kidney cells. Her team has developed a stem cell tracking system that allows scientists to follow the pathways cells traverse before assuming their adult identities. This “flight data recorder” for cells could boost the field of regenerative medicine, helping scientists guide cells along the desired paths to regrow specific organs or tissues.

Morris is one of 126 scientists and scholars throughout the U.S. and Canada to receive the award. The fellowship, awarded through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, provides $75,000 to each investigator to support basic science research.

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