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Honors, Awards and Achievements

Faculty, students and staff distinguished through professional and academic accomplishments

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May 4, 2011

-Nicolas Pelaez, PhD candidate in the Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Graduate Program, and Sebastian Ahrens, PhD candidate in the Integrated Graduate Program in Life Sciences, are recipients of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship. The award funds international students who are several years into their PhD program in science, allowing them to focus on their research. 

-Mark Hersam, professor of materials science and engineering, chemistry and medicine at Northwestern University, was awarded a $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation. The grant will fund Hersam’s research on graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with exceptional mechanical and electrical properties that could ultimately be used to make better electronics and sensors. The W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by William Myron Keck, the founder of The Superior Oil Company. The foundation funds science and engineering research, medical research and undergraduate education. 

-Marc Slutzky, professor of medicine, was named the recipient of a 2011 Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award.  The awards provide funding for physician-scientists, allowing them to devote 75 percent of their time to research. Slutzky’s research focuses on neural prosthetics, especially brain-machine interfaces. “We seek to restore function to people that are severely paralyzed by directly translating the brain's electrical signals into commands to control computers, robots or the direct reanimation of their paralyzed muscles,” he said. “This award aims to create a minimally-invasive brain-machine interface to control a virtual hand.”

-Melissa Simon, assistant professor of medicine, was named the 2011-2013 Norman F. Gant/American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Institute of Medicine Anniversary Fellow. Simon was chosen for her work toward health equity for uninsured and publicly insured women. She will receive a $25,000 research stipend and will work with researchers, policy experts and clinicians on Institute of Medicine initiatives to provide nonpartisan, evidence-based guidance to national, state and local policymakers, academic leaders, health care administrators and the public.

-Anne Koenig, a Ph.D. candidate in history, was the recipient of a Dolores Zohrab Leibmann Fellowship. Koenig, a Cincinnati native, will use the award to write her dissertation, "Madness, Medicine and Society in late Medieval Germany," the story of mental illness and the cultural treatment of it in medieval Germany. The Leibmann Fellowship is awarded to graduate students with outstanding academic records in humanities, social sciences or natural sciences. 

-Laura Cote, a Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering, was awarded a DeKarman Fellowship. Cote, of Palatine, Ill., will use the fellowship to work on her dissertation, which she expects to finish in 2012. After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in industrial research and wants to continue her volunteer outreach efforts to get young students engaged in science. The DeKarman Fellowship is a highly competitive award given to undergraduate and graduate students in any discipline. 

Darryl Turner Jr., a junior in the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences, was named a 2011 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.  Fellows receive support for completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees as they prepare academically and professionally to enter the United States Foreign Service.

- Eugene Kontorovich, associate professor of law at the School of Law, and Jennifer Light, associate professor of communication studies in the School of Communication, have been selected as members of the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science, in Princeton, N.J., for the 2011-12 year.

- Three Northwestern University Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences faculty members were honored by the American Physical Therapy Association for their leadership and research contributions to the field of physical therapy. Babette Sanders, associate professor and assistant chair for curriculum affairs; David A. Brown, associate professor and adjunct faculty in biomedical engineering, and James Elliott, assistant professor, received 2011 APTA awards.

The Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) won a 2011 Chicago Building Congress Merit Award for distinctiveness of design, quality of construction, impact upon the community and safety record for its new interior at its 680 N. Lake Shore Drive building. 

Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Jacob Peters has been selected to attend the Fulbright Summer Institute to study Welsh politics, economy, culture, language, and history at Cardiff University, Bangor University, and Aberystwyth University.

Topics: University