Professor Phillip A. Newmark

On May 27th, Phillip A. Newmark, an associate professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB), was named a 2008 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. With this award Dr. Newmark joins a select group of 56 biomedical scientists chosen from among 1,070 applications submitted in a nationwide competition.

The Maryland-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a private philanthropy dedicated to supporting biomedical research and science education, is committing more than $600 million to support new research conducted by the 56 investigators in their first term of appointment.


Phillip A. Newmark, an associate professor of cell and developmental biology (CDB), has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is a private philanthropy that supports science education and biomedical researchers across the nation.

Over 1,000 applications were submitted and only 56 scientists were chosen for the award. The HHMI will provide more than $600 million to support new research by these investigators during their first appointment. 

Dr. Newmark has been a modern pioneer in regenerative research, helping make the planarian flatworm a model organism in the field.

The planarian has the remarkable ability to regenerate organs and other tissues after being damaged or cut into sections. Professor Newmark seeks to further understand this process which shows great potential for stem cell and regenerative medicine.

"The department is delighted and proud of Dr. Newmark’s selection as an HHMI investigator," said Professor Andrew Belmont, the CDB department head. "The vast majority of scientists devote their careers to making steady but incremental progress on previously established lines of research. In contrast, a very select, very small group of scientists instead pioneer completely new approaches and methodologies, which then serve a much broader community. Dr. Newmark falls into the latter class of scientists," Belmont said.

Outside of research Newmark has multiple teaching interests for the school.  These include both MCB 252, Cells Tissues, and Development, and MCB 410, Developmental Biology. 

Read more at: University of Illinois News Bureau

April 22, 2008 All News