CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Derek Chiang, PhD, assistant professor of genetics in the UNC School of Medicine, has been named a 2010 Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Chiang is one of 118 recipients of the prestigious award.

The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year $50,000 fellowships are awarded yearly to 118 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

Chiang is a member of the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Chiang will use the fellowship funds to support his work in understanding how the mistakes in the DNA and RNA of tumors can be analyzed to help design better cancer therapies. Chiang’s lab develops computational tools to address critical gaps in the biological interpretation of cancer genomics datasets. Chiang’s UNC Lineberger collaborators are Chuck Perou, PhD, and Neil Hayes, MD, and all are involved in The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, a National Institutes of Health-funded initiative that seeks to identify the critical genes of several cancers.

Chiang, a Morehead-Cain Scholar, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry with highest distinction and honors from UNC-Chapel Hill. He earned his PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of California-Berkeley where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellow. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.