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Dr. Qi Zhang receives the 2013 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation.

This award is designed to support young scientists just embarking on their independent research careers and is limited, therefore, to those holding recent faculty appointments.

Dr. Zhang, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will be provided with $150,000 over two years to support research into understanding the biogenesis of an essential microRNA in cardiovascular development and disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world, and congenital heart disease is the leading cause of infant death related to birth defects. The long-term goal of the research is to develop microRNA-based therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Zhang obtained his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan, and received postdoctoral training in UCLA as a Baltimore Family Postdoctoral Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation.