Departmental Awards

Junior Award For Excellence

In recognition of all-around excellence in didactic coursework and research during the junior years

2020 – 2021
Zachary Rabinowitz, (Mentor: Lina Cui)

Zachary Rabinowitz

2019 – 2020
Lobna Elsadek, (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch) 

2018 – 2019
Kelton Schleyer, (Mentor: Lina Cui)


Best Research Paper Award

In recognition of published breakthrough research of high impact for each calendar year. (Nominated by Faculty) 

2020

Jun Liu, Kelton A. Schleyer, Tyrel L. Bryan, Changjian Xie, Gustavo Seabra, Yongmei Xu, Arjun Kafle, Chao Cui, Ying Wang, Kunlun Yin, Benjamin Fetrow, Paul K. P. Henderson, Peter Z. Fatland, Jian Liu, Chenglong Li, Hua Guo, Lina Cui. Ultrasensitive small molecule fluorogenic probe for human heparanase. Edge Article. Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 239-246 (Epub 2020 Oct 20). Cui Lab

Verrill M. Norwood, Ariana C Brice-Tutt, Shainnel O Eans, Heather M Stacy, Guqin Shi, Ranjala Ratnayake, James R Rocca, Khalil A Abboud, Chenglong Li, Hendrik Luesch, Jay P McLaughlin, Robert W Huigens III. “Preventing Morphine-Seeking Behavior through the Re-engineering of Vincamine’s Biological Activity.” J. Med. Chem. 2020, 63, 5119-5138. (Epub 2020 Mar 23). Huigens Lab

M.J. Ferracane, A. C. Brice-Tutt, J. S. Coleman, G. G. Simpson, L. L. Wilson, S. O. Eans, H. M. Stacy, T. F. Murray, J.P. McLaughlin, and J. V. Aldrich. Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of the Macrocyclic Tetrapeptidecyclo[Pro-Sar-Phe-D-Phe]: A Mixed Opioid Receptor Agonist-Antagonist Following Oral Administration. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2020,11, 1324-1336. (Epub 2020 Apr 21). Aldrich Lab

Yi Wang, Sreekanth C. Narayanapillai, Katelyn M. Tessier, Lori G. Strayer, Pramod Upadhyaya, Qi Hu, Rick Kingston, Ramzi G. Salloum, Junxuan Lu, Stephen S. Hecht, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Naomi Fujioka and Chengguo Xing. The Impact of One-week Dietary Supplement Kava on Biomarkers of Tobacco Exposure and Nitrosamine- based Carcinogenesis among Active Smokers. Cancer Prev. Res. 2020, 13(5), 483-491. (Epub 2020 Feb 26). Xing Lab

Best Paper Winners

2019

Khan S*, Zhang X*, Lv D*, Zhang Q, He Y, Zhang P, Liu X, Thummuri D, Yuan Y, Wiegand Js, Pei J, Zhang W, Sharma A, McCurdy Cr, Kuruvilla Vm, Baran N, Ferrando A, Kim Ym, Rogojina A, Houghton Pj, Huang G, Hromas R, Konopleva M, Zheng G, Zhou D. A selective BCL-XL PROTAC degrader achieves safe and potent antitumor activity. Nat Med. 2019;25 (12):1938-1947. (Epub 2019 Dec 2). Zheng Lab

Bousquet MS, Ratnayake R, Pope JL, Chen QY, Zhu F, Chen S Carney TJ, Gharaibeh R, Jobin C, Paul VJ, Luesch H. Seaweed natural products modify the host inflammatory response via Nrf2 signaling and alter colon microbiota composition and gene expression. Free Radic Biol Med. 2020;146:306-323. (Epub 2019 Sep 16). Luesch Lab

2018

Zhang, Y.; Li, K.; Yang, G.; McBride, J. L.; Bruner, S. D.; Ding, Y. A distributive peptide cyclase processes multiple microviridin core peptides within a single polypeptide substrate. Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 1780. (Epub 2018 May 3). Ding Lab

Abouelhassan, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Jin, S.; Huigens, R. W., III. Transcript Profiling of MRSA Biofilms Treated with a Halogenated Phenazine Eradicating Agent: A Platform for Defining Cellular Targets and Pathways Critical to Biofilm Survival. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 15523–15528. (Epub 2018 Nov 19). Huigens Lab

Cai, W.; Ratnayake, R.; Gerber, M. H.; Chen, Q.-Y.; Yu, Y.; Derendorf, H.; Trevino, J. G.; Luesch, H. Development of Apratoxin S10 (Apra S10) as an Anti-pancreatic Cancer Agent and Its Preliminary Evaluation in an Orthotopic Patient-derived Xenograft (PDX) Model. Invest. New Drugs 2019, 37, 364–374 (Epub 2018 Aug 3). Luesch Lab 

Yi


Exemplary Student Service Award

In recognition of a graduate student who has gone the extra mile to help improve the graduate program

2020 – 2021

Kelton Schleyer, (Mentor: Lina Cui) 
Garret Rubin, (Mentor: Yousong Ding) 

Kelton Schleyer Garret Rubin

2019 – 2020 
Jeremy Coleman, (Mentor: Jane Aldrich) 

2018 – 2019
Jeremy Coleman, (Mentor: Jane Aldrich)

Jeremy


Best Research Student Award

In recognition of students that have been exceptionally prolific in research in their graduate career

2018 – 2019
Guangde Jiang, (Mentor: Yousong Ding)

Guangde


Top Graduating Student Award

In recognition of the student with the highest GPA, research output and good citizenship

2020 – 2021 
Hebaalla Agha, (Mentor: Chris McCurdy) 

Hebaalla Agha

2019 – 2020 
Peilan Zhang, (Mentor: Yousong Ding)

2018 – 2019
Xiao Liang, (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch)

Xiao

 


Best Student Seminar Award

In recognition of excellent student presentations and active participation in the Student Seminar Series

2020 – 2021

Senior Division:
David Brumley, A New Antibiotic Selectively Kills Gram-Negative Pathogens (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch) 

Junior Division:
Zachary Rabinowitz, Fluorescence-Guided Resection of Tumors in Mouse Models of Oral Cancer (Mentor: Lina Cui) 

Jessica Mamallapali, Discovery and Characterization of a Cellular Potent Positive Allosteric Modulator of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 Chromodomain, CBX7 (Mentor: Chris Xing)

Graduate Seminar Winners

2019 – 2020

Senior Division:
David Brumley, Complete Biosynthesis of cannabinoids and their unnatural analogues in yeast (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch)

Kelton Schleyer, An enzymatic pathway in the human gut microbiome that converts A to universal O type blood (Mentor: Lina Cui)

Junior Division:
Zachary Rabinowitz, Targeting a ceramide double bond improves insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis (Mentor: Lina Cui)

2018 – 2019
Senior Division:
Jeremy Coleman, Lead-like drugs: a perspective, (Mentor: Jane Aldrich)

Junior Division:
David Brumley, Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals, (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch)
Kelton Schleyer, Targeting KRAS mutant cancers with a covalent G12C-specific inhibitor, (Mentor: Lina Cui)

Seminar

2017 – 2018
Senior Division:
Jeremy Coleman, Return of D4 Dopamine Receptor Antagonists in Drug Discovery, (Mentor: Jane Aldrich)

Junior Division:
David Brumley, Restored Iron Transport by a Small Molecule promotes Absorption and Hemoglobinization in Animals, (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch)

2016 – 2017
Senior Division:
Weijing Cai, Pooled Screening for Antiproliferative Inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions, (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch)
Marci Smeltz, A Multiple-Year Study of Hepatic Biomarkers in Coastal Fishes Post-Deepwater Horizon, (Mentor: Margaret James)

Junior Division:
Gena Burch, Improving Drug Design: An Update on Recent Applications of Efficiency Metrics, Strategies for Replacing Problematic Elements, and Compounds in Nontraditional Drug Space, (Mentor: Robert Huigens III)

2015 – 2016
Senior Division:
Fatma Al-Awadhi, Mode of Action and Pharmacogenomics Biomarkers for Exceptional Responders to Didemnin B, (Mentor: Hendrik Luesch)

Junior Division:
Yasmeen Abouelhassan, A Novel Multiple-State Antimalarial Agent that Inhibits Protein Synthesis, (Mentor: Robert Huigens III)