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Graduate Students

Announcements

Students enter the Biochemistry graduate program following admission into the Integrated Graduate Program (IGP), the Quantitative and Chemical Biology Graduate (QCB) Program, or the MSTP program.

Please select from the sidebar menu on the right for more information about this program.

Save The Date

The 2019 Biochemistry Retreat is set for February 12-13!

2018 BSA Welcome Back Event

See photos from the Kung Fu Saloon!

Student Travel Guidelines

In order to facilitate student travel, the BRET office has developed guidelines to help students navigate the process of planning a trip and getting reimbursed for the expenses associated with the travel.  View details here.

 

2019 FRANK CHYTIL TRAVEL AWARD

Nominations open until 12/1/2018

To nominate a student for consideration for this award, please submit all materials directly to Jen Smith at j.l.smith@vanderbilt.edu

Please include the following:

  • Provide a brief write-up explaining what meeting that you propose to attend, where the meeting will be held, and how you will participate in that meeting. The meeting may take place any time within the next year and may be within the USA or abroad.
  • Provide an abstract that has been accepted for a poster or oral presentation at the proposed meeting.
  • Provide written acknowledgment of permission from your advisor that they approve of the meeting attendance.
  • Provide an updated CV.
  • Combine these documents into ONE SINGLE PDF FILE for submission.

Dr. Chytil was a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University. His research concentrated on Vitamin A metabolism and spanned more than 30 years. Born in Czechoslovakia, he and his wife Lucie and their children immigrated to the USA in 1966. Living through Nazi occupation and communism in his home country gave Dr. Chytil a unique appreciation for the freedom and life experience that may be gained via traveling the world. It was his great wish to support and provide for the education of our students; his firm belief was that a travel scholarship would allow our students the opportunity to stretch their knowledge and be involved within varied scientific circles to best develop into independent researchers. In memory of Dr. Frank Chytil, his family began this travel award in 2010.

The Frank Chytil Travel Award provides select students with a travel scholarship in order to broaden their research experience. The winning applicant will receive $1000.00 toward their trip. This is an annual award, open to all Biochemistry and MSTP students, and may only be awarded once per each student’s education at Vanderbilt University.

Upon receipt of all applications, a three-member committee appointed by our DGS and Department Chair will evaluate the candidate proposals. The strength of the student’s abstract and their academic standing will be factors for consideration. Best of luck for a bon voyage!

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to the Department’s perpetual plaque, and a travel allowance of up to $1000.00, courtesy of the Chytil Fund.


2019 Armstrong Mentoring Award

Nominations open until 12/1/2018

To nominate a peer faculty member for consideration of this award, please submit all materials directly to Jen Smith at j.l.smith@vanderbilt.edu

Please include the following:

  • Provide a nomination letter detailing how a peer colleague exemplifies a commitment to excellence in student or post-doctoral training.
  • Additional letters of support may be included, but are optional(from graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or peer colleagues).
  • Jen Smith will secure an updated CV from the candidates.

Established in 2016, this annual award will be granted to a Vanderbilt Biochemistry-affiliated faculty member whose commitment and excellence in student or post-doctoral training is exemplary. Named in honor of the late Dr. Richard Armstrong, Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University and Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. The research of Dr. Armstrong focused on how enzymes detoxify foreign molecules through a multipronged chemical, structural, and molecular approach. As an editor of the journal Biochemistry, Richard fostered the dissemination of shared scientific knowledge. His work as a teacher, scholar, and advisor were instrumental in expertly guiding students though the rigors of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He emphasized fundamentals through his numerous lectures and selflessly served the Biochemistry community through teaching, committee membership, grant reviews, and participation in professional societies. He was also fond of teaching his young relatives to fish.

The winner will be determined via an appointed selection committee.

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to a Departmental perpetual plaque, and a $2500 cash award courtesy of the Richard Armstrong Fund.


2019 Dr. Laura Busenlehner Award

Nominations open until 12/1/18

To nominate a postdoctoral trainee or exceptionally advanced graduate student for consideration of this award, please submit all materials directly to Jen Smith at j.l.smith@vanderbilt.edu

Please include the following:

  • One letter of support with rationale for the nomination
  • CV of the nominee

This award was established in 2017 at the request of the family of Professor Richard Armstrong and is supported by the fund set up in his name. The Dr. Laura Busenlehner Award is designed to honor an outstanding postdoctoral trainee or an exceptionally advanced student whose discovery science and curiosity-driven research stands out among our excellent trainees. Dr. Busenlehner did her post-doctorate work at Vanderbilt from 2003 to 2007 in the Armstrong Lab. She went on to be an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama in 2007, an NIH career award winner in 2009, and was named a distinguished Teacher Fellow in 2014, which is also the year in which she became a tenured Associate Professor. Regrettably, this bright scientist passed away in November of 2014. At that time, one of her students named Erin Hein stated that Dr. Busenlehner “really pressed women in science and motivated me throughout my research.” Her studies focused on the inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysical characterization of the Frataxin protein, deciphering its role in the neurodegenerative disease Friedrich’s Ataxia. The winner will be determined via an appointed selection committee.

Award: individual commemorative plaque and a cash award courtesy of the Richard Armstrong Fund; winners are typically announced at the Departmental BSA Retreat and give a subsequent 20-minute presentation.


2019 Armstrong-Morgenstern Travel Award

Nomination open until 12/1/18

To nominate a postdoctoral trainee or graduate student for consideration of this award, please submit all materials directly to Jen Smith at j.l.smith@vanderbilt.edu

Please note:

  • Requires a passport for international travel.
  • Travel/Study should occur within one year of award decision.
  • The 2019 recipient will be chosen from Vanderbilt University to visit/work at The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, via Dr. Morgenstern. (Nomination cycle is shared with Karolinska)

Please include the following:

  • One letter of interest for the nomination, which should include proposed lab of study and a project
  • One letter of support from the nominee’s advisor
  • CV of the nominee
  • One letter of support from a hosting Karolinska lab accepting nominee as a possible award recipient and agreeing upon a suggested project/plan of action (Optional but highly suggested)

Established in 2016, this annual award will be granted to an outstanding postdoctoral trainee or an exceptionally advanced graduate student to support a training experience at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, or for a Vanderbilt laboratory to host a student from the Karolinska. Named in honor of the late Dr. Richard Armstrong, Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University and Foreign Adjunct Professor at the KarolinskaInstitutet in Stockholm, Sweden. The research of Dr. Armstrong focused on how enzymes detoxify foreign molecules through a multipronged chemical, structural, and molecular approach. His work as a teacher, scholar, and advisor were instrumental in expertly guiding students though the rigors of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He emphasized fundamentals through his numerous lectures and selflessly served the Biochemistry community through teaching, committee membership, grant reviews, and participation in professional societies. The winner will be determined via an appointed selection committee and will alternate between institutions (Vanderbilt or Karolinska).

Award: commemorative plaque and a travel allowance of up to $5000.00, courtesy of the Richard Armstrong Fund.


2019 LEON W. CUNNINGHAM POST-DOCTORAL PAPER AWARD

Nominations open until 12/1/18

To nominate one of your Post-Doctoral research fellows for consideration for this award, please submit all materials for the awards committee directly to Jen Smith at j.l.smith@vanderbilt.edu.

Please include the following:

  • One letter of support with rationale for the nomination
  • CV of the nominee
  • A reprint of their best paper published from your laboratory

We are now soliciting nominations for the annual Cunningham Post-Doctoral award.  As you know, we have a Cunningham award for graduate students and would like to extend a separate award for a post-doctoral fellow. We will assemble a small committee to review. The awardee will be announced at the BSA/BCHM Retreat to be held February of 2019. The award winner will be privately notified beforehand and should plan to present a 20-minute talk at the Retreat.  The Post-Doctoral Awardee will be publically revealed at the retreat.

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to the Department’s perpetual plaque, and a significant cash award courtesy of the Cunningham fund.


2019 LEON W. CUNNINGHAM GRADUATE STUDENT AWARD

Nominations open until 12/1/18

To nominate one of your Graduate students for consideration for this award, please submit all materials for the awards committee directly to Jen Smith at j.l.smith@vanderbilt.edu.

Please include the following:

  • One letter of support with rationale for the nomination
  • CV of the nominee

We are now accepting applications for the annual Leon W. Cunningham Graduate Student Award. This award is given annually to a student in the Biochemistry graduate program who shares Leon’s commitment to excellence in scientific discovery.  The awardee is usually an upper level student with a solid publication record, but there are no formal requirements. After all of the submissions have been collected, a committee of faculty members will be formed to select an awardee.  The awardee will be announced at the BSA/BCHM Retreat to be held February of 2019. The award winner will be privately notified beforehand and should plan to present a 20-minute talk at the Retreat.  The Graduate student awardee will be publically revealed at the retreat.

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to the Department’s perpetual plaque, and a significant cash award courtesy of the Cunningham Fund.


2019 JOHN G. CONIGLIO PRIZE IN BIOCHEMISTRY

Nominations open annually January 1-March 1

To nominate a student for consideration for this award, please submit all materials directly to Neil Osheroff at neil.osheroff@vanderbilt.edu.

Please include the following:

  • One letter of support with rationale for the nomination

Starting in January, we welcome and solicit nominations for the annual John G. Coniglio Prize in Biochemistry. This medical student award was established upon the retirement of Dr. Coniglio in 1990 to honor his many years of outstanding service to the Department and his leadership in the field of medical student education. The award is presented annually to the graduating medical student(s)….“who has distinguished him/herself in biochemistry. Both accomplishments in biochemical research and biochemistry courses are considered in evaluating candidates for this award.”

In order for a student to be considered for the John G. Coniglio Prize in Biochemistry, he/she must be nominated by a member of the Biochemistry faculty. Therefore, if there is a graduating M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. candidate whom you feel deserves consideration for the award, please send me a letter of recommendation on his/her behalf. The letter need not be extensive, but should make clear the reasons for the student’s nomination. Because the medical school requires the names of award winners well in advance of commencement, please send all letters to me no later than March 1. Electronic submissions are preferred. Final candidates for the John G. Coniglio Prize in Biochemistry will be recommended to the Departmental Chair for final approval.

If you have questions regarding the students who are graduating this year, please do not hesitate to contact me. Your assistance in identifying an outstanding candidate for this award is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Neil

Neil Osheroff, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry and Medicine
John G. Coniglio Chair in Biochemistry
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Department of Biochemistry
654 Robinson Research Building
2200 Pierce Ave.
Nashville, TN 37232-0146
615-322-4338 (office phone)
615-343-1166 (fax)
neil.osheroff@vanderbilt.edu

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to the Department’s perpetual plaque, and a significant cash award courtesy of the Coniglio Memorial fund.