Departmental Awards

Best Research Paper Award

In recognition of published breakthrough research of high impact.

Yi Zhang
Yasmeen Abouelhassan
Weijing Cai

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.

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.

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).


Exemplary Student Service Award

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

2018 – 2019
Jeremy Coleman


Best Research Student Award

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

2018 – 2019
Guangde Jiang


Top Graduating Student Award

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

2018 – 2019
Xiao Liang



Best Student Seminar Award

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

2018 – 2019
Senior division:
Jeremy Coleman, Lead-like drugs: a perspective

Junior division:
David Brumley, Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals
Kelton Schleyer, Targeting KRAS mutant cancers with a covalent G12C-specific inhibitor


2017 – 2018
Senior division:
Jeremy Coleman, Return of D4 Dopamine Receptor Antagonists in Drug Discovery

Junior division:
David Brumley, Restored Iron Transport by a Small Molecule promotes Absorption and Hemoglobinization in Animals

2016 – 2017
Senior division:
Weijing Cai, Pooled Screening for Antiproliferative Inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions
Marci Smeltz, A Multiple-Year Study of Hepatic Biomarkers in Coastal Fishes Post-Deepwater Horizon

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

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

Junior Division:
Yasmeen Abouelhassan, A Novel Multiple-State Antimalarial Agent that Inhibits Protein Synthesis