Biochemistry Announces 2022 Graduate Fellowships, Undergraduate Awards

The Department of Biochemistry is pleased to announce its 2022 undergraduate and graduate student departmental awards and fellowships. These awards and fellowships celebrate talented students in the department and are made possible by generous gifts to the department to fund graduate and undergraduate research.

“It’s always a real pleasure to recognize talented students,” said Fox. “The awards highlight the hard work of these students, the mentorship of their advisors, and the ongoing generosity of our supporters. This reception, our first in-person reception in two years, feels particularly special.”

The 2022 Department of Biochemistry Graduate Fellowship awardees include James Corban, Haley Penkala, Maxwell Rector, Saeed Roschdi, Sarah Schmidt-Dannert, Gina Wade, and Junqiao Zhu.

Group photo of graduate student fellowship recipients.
Graduate Fellowships recipients. From left: Haley Penkala, Max Rector, James Corban, Saeed Roschdi, Junqiao Zhu, Sarah Schmidt-Dannert, and Gina Wade. Photo: Robin Davies.

Graduate student fellowships cover a student’s tuition and stipend for an academic year. They provide students flexibility in their research endeavors by not being tied to a specific grant. By freeing up funds, they also, for example, allow faculty to purchase new equipment for labs. Students who receive these fellowships are part of the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), the joint graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry.

This year’s department graduate fellowships are sponsored by the William R. and Dorothy E. Sullivan Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, the William H. Peterson Fellowship in Biochemistry, Paul H. Phillips Departmental Fellowship in Biochemistry, the Denis R.A. and Martha Washburn Wharton Fellowship, the Dr. Stephen Babcock AG Chem Fund, and the Steenbock Predoctoral Fellowship in Biochemistry.

Sarah Schmidt-Dannert, a second-year graduate student working in assistant professor Vatsan Raman’s lab, received a Steenbock Predoctoral Fellowship in Biochemistry. Her research focuses on understanding and engineering capsule-degrading bacteriophages with the ultimate goal of targeting a diverse array of pathogenic encapsulated bacteria, such as those causing cystic fibrosis, meningitis, or urinary tract infections.

“Earning this award is a great validation that I belong in this program and in graduate school,” Schmidt-Dannert said. “With this award, I’ll be able to take an internship in the next year or two to further my research experience.”

To read more about the awards and undergraduate awardees, click here.