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Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Awards

Overview of Annual Awards Offered

  • Frank Chytil Travel Award
  • Laura Busenlehner Award for Outstanding Leadership & Research
  • Leon W. Cunningham Excellence in Biochemistry
  • Michael Waterman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Postdoctoral Studies
  • Richard Armstrong Mentoring Award
  • Armstrong Training Enhancement Award
  • John G. Coniglio Award
  • Destination Biochemistry Benjamin Danzo Postdoctoral Scholar Award
  • Destination Biochemistry Stanley Cohen Postdoctoral Scholar Award
  • Destination Biochemistry Advanced Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Award descriptions and deadlines are detailed below


Frank Chytil Travel Award

Nominations open annually until December 1

2023 Winner – Kevin McCarty (Guengerich lab)

 

 

 

 

 

 

2023 Winner – Menghan Mei (Ren lab)

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Frank Chytil Travel Award Recipients

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 established this travel award in 2010. 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!

To nominate a Biochemistry-affiliated graduate 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 (which will require a passport).
  • 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.

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.

 

Laura Busenlehner Award for Outstanding Leadership & Research

Nominations open annually until December 1

2023 Winner – Tamar “Tata” Kavlashvili (Dewar lab)

Previous Laura Busenlehner Award Recipients

This annual 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 Biochemistry-affiliated 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.

To nominate a Biochemistry-affiliated 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

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

 

Leon W. Cunningham Award for Excellence in Biochemistry

Nominations open annually until December 1

2023 Graduate Student Winner – Tyler Hansen (Hodges lab)

Previous Leon W. Cunningham Award Recipients

The Leon W. Cunningham Award is given annually to a graduate student affiliated with the Biochemistry graduate program who shares Leon’s commitment to excellence in scientific discovery.

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 graduate student awardee will be publicly announced at the Biochemistry Retreat. The award winner will be privately notified beforehand and should plan to present a 20-minute talk at the Retreat.

To nominate one of your Biochemistry-affiliated graduate student 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

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to the Department’s perpetual plaque, and a cash award courtesy of the Cunningham Fund; winners are typically announced at the Biochemistry Retreat and give a subsequent 20-minute presentation.

 

Michael Waterman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Postdoctoral Studies

Nominations open annually until December 1

2023 Winner – Alex Blee, Ph.D. (Chazin lab)

Previous Michael Waterman Award Recipients

This award, established in 2021 honors the outstanding achievement of a Postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry. The winner will have made an important research discovery as evidenced by a publication within the past year. Other evidence for research impact will also be considered. The award is named for Michael R. Waterman, Ph.D., Natalie Overall Warren Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry from 1992-2010. His leadership skills at Vanderbilt were characterized by his calm and thoughtful approach to the management of the Biochemistry department and advocacy for faculty needs. The Department expanded significantly and thrived under his direction. Dr. Waterman’s research was focused on cytochrome P450 enzymes and related proteins. It led to a better understanding of processes underlying hormonal disturbances and provides the basis for developing better anti-fungal drugs, defining the potential roles of steroid metabolism in the control of human parasites, and many other issues of clinical importance. He mentored 12 Ph.D. candidates and more than 50 postdoctoral research fellows. This award recognizes his commitment to postdoctoral training and the Vanderbilt Department of Biochemistry. Applications will be evaluated by a small, appointed committee to determine the most-deserving award recipient. The postdoctoral fellow awardee is usually announced at the Biochemistry retreat. The award winner will be privately notified beforehand.

To nominate one of your Biochemistry-affiliated Postdoctoral research fellow 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 the candidate’s best paper published from your laboratory in the past year.

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to the Department’s perpetual plaque, and a cash award; winners are typically announced at the Biochemistry Retreat and are expected to give a 20-minute presentation on their research.

 

Richard Armstrong Mentoring Award

Nominations open annually until December 1

2023 Winner – David K. Cortez, Ph.D., Biochemistry Chair

Previous Armstrong Mentoring Award Recipients

Established in 2016, this annual award will be granted to a Vanderbilt Biochemistry faculty member whose commitment and excellence in student or Postdoctoral 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 Institute 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.

To nominate a Biochemistry 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 faculty member exemplifies a commitment to excellence in student or post-doctoral training.
  • Additional letters of support are encouraged, but are optional (from graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or peer colleagues).
  • Jen Smith will secure an updated CV from the candidates.

Award: commemorative plaque, name added to a Departmental perpetual plaque, and a $2500 cash award courtesy of the Richard Armstrong Fund. Past awardees have presented a Frontiers in Biochemistry Seminar, incorporating topics of mentorship.

 

Armstrong Training Enhancement Award

Nominations open annually until December 1

2023 Winner – Kevin McCarty (Guengerich lab)

Previous Armstrong Training Enhancement Award Recipients

Established in 2023, this annual award provides up to $5,000 for a Biochemistry-affiliated student or postdoctoral fellow to visit another laboratory anywhere in the world to enhance their training. Visiting another laboratory to facilitate collaborations or to learn a new methodology is a powerful way of advancing a research project. This award is named in honor of the late Dr. Richard Armstrong, Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University and Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Sweden. Dr. Armstrong understood that scientific exchanges like those supported by this award are often formative experiences in a scientist’s training.  Students and postdoctoral fellows can apply directly for this award. All Biochemistry-affiliated graduate students or postdoctoral fellows are eligible. Graduate students in other programs who are training in a primary Biochemistry faculty member’s lab are also eligible. The winner will be determined via an appointed selection committee.

To nominate a Biochemistry-affiliated 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:

  • If traveling internationally, allot sufficient time to obtain a passport.
  • Funds must be used within one year of award notification decision.

Please include the following:

  • A letter of interest from the trainee describing how the award will be used including the destination, expected duration of the visit, and training activities to be conducted
  • A letter of reference from the nominee’s mentor, including a commitment to cover any costs in excess of $5,000.
  • CV of the nominee

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

 

John G. Coniglio Award

Nominations open annually January 1 – March 1

2023 Winner – Brynna S. Eisele, Ph.D. (York lab)

Previous John C. Coniglio Award Recipients

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. Presented annually, this award provides recognition of a graduating medical student(s) who has distinguished themself in biochemistry. Accomplishments in both biochemical research and biochemistry courses are considered in evaluating candidates for this award.

Trainees eligible for consideration of the John G. Coniglio Prize in Biochemistry, must be nominated by a member of the Biochemistry faculty. The nominating letter need not be extensive, but should make clear the reasons for the student’s nomination. If there is a graduating M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. candidate whom you feel deserves consideration for the award, please send a letter of recommendation on their behalf directly to the award curator, Dr. Neil Osheroff, no later than March 1 to allow sufficient time for inclusion in “Class Day” commencement recognitions. Electronic submissions are preferred. Final candidates for the John G. Coniglio Prize in Biochemistry will be recommended to the Departmental Chair for final approval.

To nominate a Biochemistry-affiliated M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. student for consideration for this award, please submit all materials directly to Neil Osheroff at neil.osheroff@vanderbilt.edu. If you have questions regarding students who are graduating this year, please contact Neil directly. Your assistance in identifying an outstanding candidate for this award is greatly appreciated.

Please include the following:

  • One letter of support with rationale for the nomination

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


Destination Biochemistry Benjamin Danzo Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Applications by incoming EARLY-CAREER new Postdoctoral fellows at http://apply.interfolio.com/123614 are accepted on February 15, June 1, and October 1.

 

Destination Biochemistry Stanley Cohen Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Applications by incoming EARLY-CAREER new Postdoctoral fellows at http://apply.interfolio.com/123614 are accepted on February 15, June 1, and October 1.

 

Destination Biochemistry Advanced Postdoctoral Scholar Award


Open to existing ADVANCED-CAREER Postdoctoral fellows readying for independent careers within the next year. Apply via Interfolio at http://apply.interfolio.com/123677  by annual deadline of August 1.

 

 

Additional Awards

2024 Award Winners

Jenny Tran (Brown Lab) received the Ethel M. Wilson Scholarship from Vanderbilt University. This scholarship recognizes excellence in research conducted by promising graduate women students.

 

 

2023 Best Poster and Talk Award Winners

Montana Young (Hamm Lab) earned the “Best First-Year Talk” award at the Department of Pharmacology retreat on October 13.

 

 

Xiaoyu “Lily” Yu (Kojetin Lab) earned the “Best Poster” award at the 8th Gateway NMR conference held at the University of Notre Dame.

 

 

Kevin McCarty (Guengerich Lab) earned the “Best Poster” award at the 23rd International Conference on Cytochrome P450: Shizuoka, Japan.

 

 

Katherine Stefanski (Sanders Lab) earned the “Top Poster” award at the 2023 CMT Global Research Convention.

 

2023 Biochemistry Retreat Award Winners

Xiaoyu “Lily” Yu (Kojetin Lab) and Katherine Stefanski (Sanders Lab) both received “Top Talk” awards.

 

 

Sam Lisy (Ascano Lab), Jillian Armenia (Osheroff Lab), and Jessica Day (Hodges Lab) received “Top Poster” awards.

Jorge Rua-Fernandez (Cortez Lab) and Sabrina Van Ravenstein (Dewar Lab) received “Top Talk” honorable mentions.

Kaitlyn Browning (Merrikh Lab), Kate Clowes (Sanders Lab), and Jenny Tran (Brown Lab) received “Top Poster” honorable mentions.

 

2023 Graduate School Travel Award Recipients

Anna Eitel (Hamm Lab) has been selected for a 2023-2024 Graduate School Travel Grant.

 

 

Xiaoyu “Lily” Yu (Kojetin Lab) has been selected for a 2023-2024 Graduate School Travel Grant.

 

 

Jorge Rua Fernandez (Cortez Lab) has been selected for a 2023-2024 Graduate School Travel Grant.

Kevin McCarty (Guengerich Lab) has been selected for a 2023-2024 Graduate School Travel Grant.

2023 Protein Society Annual Symposium

Jenny Tran (Brown Lab) is the 2023 Protein Society Annual Symposium Poster Competition winner.

2023 Anne Karpay Award in Structural Biology

Ivette Perez (Iverson Lab) has been named the 2023 Anne Karpay Award in Structural Biology recipient.

The Karpay Award was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Dr. Anne Karpay who died after a four-year battle with breast cancer. It recognizes one senior graduate student who is a well-rounded colleague and scientist, who is collaborative and collegial, and who has performed exceptional research in the field of structural biology. Dr. Karpay exemplified each characteristic and demonstrated a passion for science, for friendship and for life.

For more information about the award, please visit the Center for Structural Biology website.

2022 VICB Armstrong Prize

Emma Guiberson (Caprioli Lab) has been awarded the Armstrong Prize by the VICB. Emma presesnted at the 2022 VICB Student Symposium on Friday, August 12, 2022.

2022 Travel Awards

Velia Garcia (Chazin lab) won both a travel and poster award at the recent 36th Protein Society Symposium in San Francisco. Postdoctoral fellows Swati Balakrishnan (Chazin lab) and Areetha D’Souza (Chazin lab) also won travel awards.

2022 Anne Karpay Award in Structural Biology

Noah Bradley (Eichman lab)

The Karpay Award was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Dr. Anne Karpay who died after a four-year battle with breast cancer. It recognizes one senior graduate student who is a well-rounded colleague and scientist, who is collaborative and collegial, and who has performed exceptional research in the field of structural biology. Dr. Karpay exemplified each characteristic and demonstrated a passion for science, for friendship and for life.

For more information about the award, please visit the Center for Structural Biology website.

2022 Biochemistry Retreat Poster Winners

Best Poster: Tyler Hansen (Hodges lab, left) and Honorable Mention: Tata Kavlashvili (Dewar lab, right)

2022 Graduate Endowment Award

Noah Bradley (Eichman lab) is a 2022 recipient of the Edward Ferguson Jr. Graduate Award, which provides scholarships to support students at the Graduate School who demonstrate excellence in research.

2022 VICC Postsdoctoral Scholar Award

Kavi Mehta (Cortez Lab) was recognized at the annual Biochemistry Retreat in Chattanooga with the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center Postdoctoral Scholar of the year. Congratulations, Kavi!

2021 Inaugural Award, Excellence in Podcasting

Congratulations Nicole Kendrick (Olivares Lab)and Natalie Wallace (Jackson Lab), first-place winner “Graduate and professional students“: “How Real is Silicon-based Life?”

Vanderbilt University’s first-ever Excellence in Podcasting competition was held in spring 2021. Awards were presented in July to the students whose podcast submissions exemplified the goals of the competition: using audio storytelling to communicate ideas, share perspectives, make arguments and persuade others. Undergraduate, graduate and professional students were invited to participate. Original audio pieces produced in the past year with some critical or creative storytelling were accepted.

2021 Anne Karpay Award in Structural Biology

Congratulations to James Hutchison (Sanders Lab) for being selected the 2021 recipient of The Anne Karpay Award in Structural Biology. James was chosen for his ability to perform outstanding research and for his collegiality and willingness to engage those around him. James presented the MBTP/CSB Seminar on January 19, 2021, via Zoom.

For more information about the award, please visit the Center for Structural Biology website.

2020 Armstrong Faculty Transition Award

Kevin Lang (Merrikh lab) was named the 2020 Armstrong Faculty Transition Award recipient. Kevin is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

Established in 2018, the Armstrong Faculty Transition Award from the Department of Biochemistry funded one PostDoctoral Fellow of exceptional promise and leadership skill to foster transition into a faculty position. Winners conduct research independent from their current lab’s mentorship, while establishing themselves and their future lab. We request that Awardees acknowledge this funding source on resultant publications. Winners receive Departmental recognition, a commemorative plaque, and funding toward their transition into a faculty role.

2020 Levi Watkins Jr. Student Award

Kudos to our newest Levi Watkins, Jr. Student Awardee, Geena Ildefonso (CPB, Quaranta Lab) for fostering a diverse environment that is encouraging to all. Way to go!

2020 Sidney Colowick Award

Congratulations Michael Sheedlo, Ph.D. (Lacy Lab), one of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology’s 2020 Sidney Colowick Awardees!

2020 Human Islet Research Network Scholarship

We have a winner! Angela Kruse, Ph.D. (Caprioli Lab) received one of only nine nationally awarded scholarships from the 2020 Human Islet Research Network.

2020 Dean’s Award for Exceptional Achievement for Advanced Students

2020 Winner: Sarah M. Glass (Guengerich Lab), Biochemistry Dept.

Established in 2018, the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Achievement is a highly competitive annual award recognizing top graduate students from across the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s great breadth of research study. Awardee applications must contain a strong nomination from their mentor and are evaluated by a full committee of Directors of Graduate Studies from the various School of Medicine-affiliated Ph.D. programs. Criteria include originality and significance of dissertation research, excellence in research discovery, and mastery of their discipline as reflected by academic performance metrics. Along with honorific recognition, the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Achievement is accompanied by a salary supplement of $5000 for up to two years, as the awardee works toward Ph.D. completion.

2020 Anne Karpay Award in Structural Biology

Justin Marinko (Sanders Lab), selected as the 2020 recipient of The Anne Karpay Award in Structural Biology.

The Karpay Award in Structural Biology was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Dr. Anne Karpay. Each year the award recognizes one senior graduate student who is a well-rounded colleague and scientist, who is collaborative and collegial, and who has performed exceptional research in structural biology. The winner then presents a research talk as part of the award ceremony.

For more information about the award, please visit the Center for Structural Biology website.

2020 Graduate School Travel Award Recipient

 

Kathryn Brewer (Sanders Lab) was the 2020 Graduate School Travel Award recipient

2019 Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Institute Dissertation Enhancement Grant

Justin Marinko (Sanders Lab) is this year’s recipient of the Vanderbilt University 2019 Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Institute Dissertation Enhancement Grant

This award was established to support graduate students with outstanding potential in accelerating progress on their research, adding depth or breadth to their dissertation work. Read more about the Institute’s mission and objectives here. Award established as of Fall 2018, details available here. Learn more about the Institute’s namesake, Russell G. Hamilton, here.

2019 Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Institute Travel Award

Sarah Arcos (Ascano Lab) is this year’s recipient of the Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Institute Travel Award.

The Award was established in fall 2018 in honor of the Institute’s namesake, Russell G. Hamilton. This travel grant provides support for graduate students seeking to further develop their academic and professional skills beyond the traditional realm of presenting research findings in a conference setting. Read more about the Institute’s mission and objectives here.

2019 Dean’s Award for Exceptional Achievement for Advanced Students

Manuel Castro (Sanders Lab, top row, second-from-left in this photo), 2019 Dean’s Award for Exceptional Achievement for Advanced Students.  This honor is bestowed upon third-year Ph.D. students in the School of Medicine whose research is original, significant, and rigorous; who have demonstrated excellence in research discovery; and who have mastered a discipline, as evidenced by classwork, qualifying exam, and performance in committee meetings.

2018 Armstrong Faculty Transition Award

Kareem Mohni (Cortez lab) was named the INAUGURAL 2018 Armstrong Faculty Transition Award recipient. Kareen is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota..

Established in 2018, the Armstrong Faculty Transition Award from the Department of Biochemistry funded one PostDoctoral Fellow of exceptional promise and leadership skill to foster transition into a faculty position. Winners conduct research independent from their current lab’s mentorship, while establishing themselves and their future lab. We request that Awardees acknowledge this funding source on resultant publications. Winners receive Departmental recognition, a commemorative plaque, and funding toward their transition into a faculty role.

2018 Vanderbilt Prize Scholar

Katherine Rothamel (Ascano Lab), 2018 Vanderbilt Prize Scholar. Shown here with (L-R) Jennifer Pietenpol, Vanderbilt Prize Winner and mentor Lynne Maquat, Katherine Rothamel, and Larry Marnett

2017 AAPS Foundation Fellowship

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Elizabeth Gibson, a third year student in the Neil Osheroff Lab, has been awarded the 2017 AAPS Foundation Fellowship for her work on antibacterial-drug-resistant TB.
Read more

2017 Christopher C. Harris Travel Award for Graduate Students

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Michael Goodman was a member of the Richard Armstrong Lab in Biochemistry and is now in the Larry Marnett Lab, affiliated with the Department of Chemistry. He is the recipient of the 2017 Christopher C. Harris Travel Award for Graduate Students. Sponsored by the Eicosanoid Research Foundation, the award was presented at a conference in Mexico on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases. Christopher Harris was dedicated administrator for the Department of Pathology at Wayne State University. Chris was a talented entrepreneur, remarkable organizer, fundraiser and meeting planner. He had a gift for bringing individuals together and making friends around the world. He was the exclusive meeting organizer for the very successful international conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases which showcases the cutting edge of science on the role of lipid mediators in various physiological and pathological processes. Chris managed these conferences starting in Chicago (2003), San Francisco (2005), Montreal (2007), Cancun (2009), Seattle (2011), San Juan (2013), and Budapest (2015). The 2017 meeting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is dedicated in honor of Chris Harris.

2017 Levi Watkins Jr. Student Award

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Congratulations to Romell Gletten for receiving the 2017 Levi Watkins Jr. Student Award, presented annually to at least one graduate student and one medical student associated with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who have made outstanding contributions to the institution by fostering a more diverse environment that is enriching, encouraging and embracing of all VUSM students, faculty and administration. Levi Watkins Jr., M.D., is remembered for his significant contributions toward increasing opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the sciences. A distinguished physician and researcher, Watkins was the first African American student to be admitted to and graduate from VUSM. A member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, he continued his training at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. Watkins was posthumously awarded the VUSM Distinguished Alumni Award in October 2016.

2017 VICC Graduate Students of the Year Award

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Kamakoti “Kami” Prakash Bhat (Cortez Lab) and Tim Shaver (Pietenpol Lab) were named 2017 VICC Graduate Students of the YearElwood Mullins (Eichman Lab) was named the VICC Postdoctoral Fellow of the Year.

2017 F99/K00 Predoctoral-to-Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award

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Kamakoti “Kami” Prakash Bhat (Cortez Lab) is the first Vanderbilt student to win an F99/K00 predoctoral-to-postdoctoral fellow transition award from the NCI.

2017 Spanish Language Fellow

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Lorena Infante Lara, a 4th year graduate student from Neil Osheroff’s lab, was named a Spanish Language Fellow in the AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows Program. This program assigns fellows to media sites throughout the U.S. during the summer, where they work to research, write, and report science to the general public. Lorena will be communicating with primarily Latino audiences as she writes articles for Univisión Salud (Health) in Miami, FL.

2015 Vanderbilt Prize Scholar

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Lisa Poole of the Cortez Lab was named as the 2015 Vanderbilt Prize Scholar. This very prestigious award gives Lisa direct mentorship by Vanderbilt Prize Lecturer Dr. Huda Zoghbi (a National Academy of Sciences member and accomplished scientist). We are proud of our outgoing BSA president. Read more.

2014 Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Toxicology Poster Winner

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Jeannie Camarillo received a 2014 1st Place Poster Presentation award during the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Toxicology meeting (San Francisco) as well as an award for her Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology Student Research Symposium poster. Jeannie is also the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) grant.

2011 Vanderbilt Prize Scholar & Dr. Titia de Lange, the Vanderbilt Prize Winner

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Bianca Sirbu (left) selected as the
2011 Vanderbilt Prize Scholar and
Dr. Titia de Lange, the Vanderbilt Prize Winner.