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Support of Young Faculty Seen as Crucial

Phillip Sharp was 33 years old and an untenured faculty member at MIT when he made the discovery that won him this year's Nobel prize for physiology or medicine.

As a result, the importance of support for young scientists and MIT's commitment to that end was stressed at the press conference on Dr. Sharp's Nobel prize.

"Phil continues to do great work, but both he and all the rest of the senior faculty here have a great belief that the most exciting things get done by the junior people, as in this case," said Richard O. Hynes, professor of biology and director of the Center for Cancer Research.

As a result, said Dean of Science Robert J. Birgeneau, "we have a really key commitment institutionally here at MIT to the careers of young people, and we put a lot of energy into trying to provide optimal resources for young people to do unimpeded basic research."

To meet that goal, however, "we have to continue to receive appropriate support from industry and most especially the federal government, and I hope that that will continue into the indefinite future," said Dr. Birgeneau, who is also the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics.

A version of this article appeared in the October 20, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 10).

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