Professor Katherine A. Rauen, professor in the Department of Pediatrics and a physician-scientist affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute and UC Davis Children’s Hospital, on April 15 received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren was the keynote speaker for the event, held in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jefferson Auditorium. Agency officials, friends and relatives of the 102 award recipients attended the event. Afterward the recipients were greeted at the White House by President Barack Obama, who thanked them for their outstanding achievements. For details of the ceremony visit the Office of Science and Technology blog post.
The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.
PECASE award recipients are selected from among individuals who either are funded or employed by federal departments and agencies. The National Institutes of Health honored Rauen for her studies on the role of germline mutations in the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway on skeletal myogenesis. She is one of 35 awardees acknowledged through their association with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and one of the 20 National Institutes of Health honorees. She is one of only eight recipients in the University of California system.
Rauen is an internationally respected leader in the study of the Ras/MAPK pathway genetic syndromes, and coined the term “RASopathies.” Ras/MAPK regulates cell growth, which is critical for normal fetal development and, when dysregulated, can cause cancer. She earned her master's degree in human physiology and her doctorate in genetics at UC Davis. She earned her medical degree at UC Irvine and completed residency training in pediatrics and a fellowship in medical genetics at UC San Francisco.