The University of Chicago


Multicultural Graduate Community awarded Innovation Grant

On behalf of the Multicultural Graduate Community, Joyce Pieretti and Daniela Palmer applied for an Innovation Grant from the Provost's Office. They have received notice that it was funded. Their project is described below:

The students comprising the Multicultural Graduate Community (MGC) at the University of Chicago seek to actively promote the engagement and success of diverse and often underrepresented students in the sciences by providing academic and personal support networks, and resources for professional development. In alignment with the University's initiatives on diversity and inclusion, we proposed a quarterly speaker series, in which speakers committed to these initiatives share their expertise on minority recruitment and outreach, or their personal experiences as an underrepresented minority (URM) in their respective field. Invited speakers will host two seminars, a traditional scientific seminar on their research and a diversity seminar discussing the speaker's experience with URM issues in the sciences. The series will promote ongoing dialogue on diversity and inclusion on campus and offer new academic networking connections to graduate students across the Biological, Physical, and Social Sciences divisions.

Moen and Mayo receive Lindau Fellowships

Erika MoenLeah Mayo

Two students received Lindau Fellowships. Erika Moen and Leah Mayo will travel to Lindau, Germany, for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting June 29 through July 4, 2014. About 600 young researchers from almost 80 countries will travel to the meeting dedicated to Physiology or Medicine; at this point, 37 Nobel Laureates have announced their participation. And for the first time since the meeting's inception in 1951, the percentage of female participants is higher than male participants (52 to 48/%). The program will include lectures, discussion sections, master classes, and panel discussions. Leah is a student in the Committee on Neurobiology with Dr. Harriet de Wit as her advisor, and Erika is a student in the Committee on Cancer Biology, with Drs. Lucy Godley and Eileen Dolan as her advisors.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards announced:

We are pleased to announce that four BSD graduate students have received NRSA awards:

Angika Basant


Nicholas Banovich(Human Genetics: Gilad lab): Genetic Factors Governing Inter-individual Variation to Oxidative Stress Response

Alan Chang(Cancer Biology, Lesniak lab): CCR4 in Regulatory T Cell Trafficking to Glioma

Daniel Levanthal and Peter Savage

Daniel Leventhal(Cancer Biology, Savage lab): Functional role of Aire-dependent Tregs in peripheral tolerance and prostate cancer

Justin Mark Lunderberg(Interdisciplinary Scientist Training Progam: Schneewind lab): Assembly of the envelope of Bacillus anthracis vegetative forms



Congratulations to our 2014 Chicago Biomedical Consortium Scholars!

Inaugurated in 2010, the CBC scholars program invites member universities to nominate up to three outstanding graduate students each year. Each CBC scholar receives a grant of $5,000 per year for up to two years for academic purposes such as travel to conferences. The purpose of the program is to develop a leadership forum for students from the CBC universities (Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Chicago) to advance the CBC mission of fostering collaboration and excellence.

Mike GebhardtLeah Mayo

Michael Gebhardt, Committee on Microbiology, Advisor: Howard Shuman

Leah Mayo, Committee on Neurobiology, Advisor: Harriet de Wit





Angika Basant

Angika Basant(Cell and Molecular Biology; Glotzer lab) was awarded a two-year pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association. In addition, she was invited by the American Society for Cell Biology to give a talk at a minisymposium in New Orleans.


Matthew Nelsen (Evolutionary Biology; Ree lab) was the recipient of a William Rainey Harper Fellowship for 2013-2014.

Ben Rubin (Evolutionary Biology; Moreau lab) won the Brown Family Fellowship for 2013-2014 at the Field Museum of Natural History.

Jared Salisbury (Computational Neuroscience; Palmer lab) won a Chateaubriand Fellowship, a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the United States. It allows doctorate students enrolled in American universities to conduct research in France for 4 to 9 months. He will study at the Institut de la Vision (Paris VI, Université Pierre et Marie Curie) in Paris for 9 months.

Tom Stewart (Integrative Biology; Coates lab) is the recipient of the 2013 Tinker Field Research Grant, through the University's Center for Latin American Studies. He will use these funds to travel to Equador and develop a project on adaptive evolution in the Pimelodidae, a group of South American catfishes. He is also the recipient of the 2013 Raney Award for Ichthyology, granted by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Tom has also recieved support from the Hinds Fund and BSD Travel Award.

Haley Stinnett


Haley Stinnett (Integrative Biology; Ho lab) wrote a guest post for Cell Reports that was selected as the winner of the inaugaral Cell Reports guest blog competition. Read more


Benjamin Winger (Evolutionary Biology; Bates lab) won the Lester Armour Fellowship from the Field Museum for 2013-2014.

The 2013-2014 Steiner Travel Awards were awarded to Matthew Perisin (Microbiology) to attend a Marine Biological Labs summer course on "Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Micrbial Population Structures," and Max Winston (Evolutionary Biology) for travel to the Amazonian basin for research on phylogeny of the army ant genus Eciton.


BSD Teaching Award for 2012-2013 Shared by Angika Basant and Buxin Chen

The 2012-2013 Teaching Prize for the best performance by a BSD graduate student who is TAing in fulfillment of the Divisional Teaching Requirement was awarded to Angika Basant and Buxin Chen. In addition, an honorable mention went to Erin Mowers.

Angika Basant

Angika is a third-year student in Cell and Molecular Biology and receives the prize in recognition of her work as a TA in BIOS 20234, Molecular Biology of the Cell in Autumn 2012. She is cited for the very strong support from the Molecular Biology of the Cell class, who commended her for her strong understanding of the material and ability to communicate it effectively, as well as her patience with questions and willingness to help outside of class.

Buxin Chen

Buxin is a second-year student in Medical Physics who receives the prize in recognition of his work as a TA in MPHY 34900, Mathematics for Medical Physicists, in Autumn 2012. He is the first student from Medical Physics to win the prize in its 18-year history. He is cited for being an extremely dedicated and knowledgeable TA, demonstrating both a clear understanding of the breadth of the material and an ability to convey the concepts clearly.

Erin Mowers

Erin Mowers is a fourth-year student in the Interdisciplinary Scientist Training Program and was awarded an honorable mention for her work in BIOS 21339, From Structural Coordinates to Protein Function in Winter 2013. She was cited for her responsiveness to student input, her deep knowledge base, and her ability to facilitate discussions.

The BSD teaching prize was established in 1996 by the faculty Committee on Teaching Assistants in appreciation and recognition of the enthusiasm and effort that graduate students put into their early teaching experiences. Award of the prize is based on nominations by the students in the course taught by the TA. This year, nearly 100 TA's were nominated by their students for the Teaching Prize, a tribute to the dedication of our graduate students as they take on the role of teaching assistant, and illustrating the value placed on teaching in the BSD. Congratulations to all winners!


Accomplishments Archives: 2013, 2012, 2011