Biochemistry Awards

Lois Bigger Gehring Graduate Student Scholarship  |  IDT & Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellowships 
Marion Dave Francis Student Innovator Award  |  Clarence P. Berg Award | Subramanian Thesis Award

Lois Bigger Gehring Graduate Student Scholarship

The Lois Bigger Gehring Graduate Student Scholarship is made to the most meritorious second year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology graduate students based on academic and research achievements. The prize is named in honor of Lois Bigger Gehring, an extremely talented biochemist and graduate of the University of Iowa. Ms. Gehring is a native of Mt. Vernon, Iowa.  She attended Cornell College and majored in biology and chemistry. She earned an M.S. in bacteriology from the University of Iowa in 1949 and a PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge University in 1952. Her scientific achievements include a Fulbright Scholarship a Public Health Service Pre-Doctoral Fellowshp, a Carlisle Fellowship, and an Ernst Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Year Awardee Name Mentor
2022 Logan Dawson DeMali
2022 Emily Lavering Weeks
2022 Nicholas Cronin DeMali
2021 Nicholas Hammons Fuentes
2021 Rebecca Splitt DeMali
2021 Grace Ciampa Song

IDT & Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellowships

The IDT and Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellowships are awarded to three of the most meritorious second year Biochemistry graduate students based on academic and research achievements. Fellows will receive $5000 research accounts to support travel during the course of their PhD.

The IDT Graduate Fellowships were established through a gift made by Dr. Joseph Walder, Adjuct Professor of Biochemisty. Dr. Walder started his independent research career as a faculty member in the Department in 1978 and launched Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) in 1987.

The Smith-Gehring Graduate Fellowship was established through a gift made in memory of Dr. Elizabeth K. Smith, a 1943 PhD in Biochemistry, and from the gift of Dr. Lois Bigger Gehring, a great friend of the Department.

IDT Fellows

Year Awardee Name Mentor
2018 Harrison Fuchs Musselman
2018 Zachary Wehrspan Elcock
2017 Christopher Ball Price
2017 Kelli Sylvers Davies
2016 Colleen Caldwell Maria Spies
2016 Timothy Collingsworth Schnieders

Smith-Gehring Fellows

Year Awardee Name Mentor
2018 Maria Nunez Hernandez Pufall
2017 Alicia Ortiz DeMali
2016 Hannah Miller DeMali

Marion Dave Francis Student Innovator Award

Established to honor Dr. Marion Dave Francis, this $500 cash award recognizes a PhD student whose research has demonstrated their singular personal initiative, creativity, and resulting discontinuous discovery, as exemplified by Dr. Francis. The recipient of the award will be selected annually by the leadership team of the Department of Biochemistry. The selection will come from Faculty nominations of graduate students who have completed their PhD work by the nomination deadline. Non-awarded nominations will remain active for three years past graduation date.

Year Awardee Name Mentor
2022 Chris Ball Price
2021 Ryan Mahling Shea
2020 Tingting Duan Geyer
2019 Michael Hayes (Cell and Molecular Biology PhD) Weeks
2018 Samuel Trammell (Genetics PhD) Brenner
2017 Elizabeth Boehm Washington

Clarence P. Berg Award

Former students of Professor Berg created this award in his honor. This is a $200 cash award to be given every other year to a graduate student in Biochemistry who displays qualities of scholarship, integrity, cooperativeness, consideration and a willingness to help others. The recipient of the award will be selected by the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at the end of May in even years. The selection will come from graduate students who have completed their PhD work during the appropriate two-year interval. The faculty agrees that the primary emphasis shall properly be on scholarship, but that there will be a strong secondary emphasis on personal qualifications and career potential. 

Clarence P. Berg, an internationally known amino acid biochemist who was a member of the department for 36 years (1932-1968). Dr. Berg is well known as the author of the 1980 book, “The University of Iowa and Biochemistry from their Beginnings.”

Year    Awardee Name Mentor
2020 William Hacker Elcock
2018 Jennifer Bays DeMali
2016 Lacy Barton Geyer
2014 John Pryor Washington
2012  Xiao Peng   DeMali
2010 Susan O'Donnell Shea
2008 Zeynep Akyol Ataman Shea
2006 Rhonda Newman Shea
2004 Wendy Van Scyoc Shea
2002 Jon Rubach Plapp
2000 Cheryl Bailey Weeks
1998 Kristen Scott Geyer
1996 Liskin Swint Kruse Robertson
1994 Daniel Kephart Price
1992 John Dagle Walder
1990 William Shalongo Stellwagen
1988 David Lowery Van Ness
1986 David T. Dudley Spector
1984 Tristam Parslow Granner
1982 Robert J. Gould Spector
1980 Gary L. Firestone Heath
1978 Ross C. Hardison Chalkley
1976 Richard McGee Spector
1974 Rodney L. Balhorn Granner
1972 David B. Henson Swenson
1970 Grace M. Lehrer Barker

Subramanian Thesis Award

This is a $500 award that will be given annually to a doctoral graduate student for outstanding thesis work. Consideration will be given to distribute the award among distinct areas of Biochemistry (e.g. nucleic acids and molecular genetics, proteins and structural biology, metabolism and regulation, disease and parasites, plant molecular biology, etc.). The student will be chosen by faculty vote. In the event of a tie, the two “co-recipients” will each be given $400. There is a maximum of two “co-recepients.”

Dr. Alap Subramanian obtained his PhD from the Department of Biochemistry in 1964 working under the late Professor George Kalnitsky. He parlayed this experience with training from Irving Klotz at Northwestern and both Bernard Davis and Herman Kalckar at Harvard Medical School, into a highly successful career at the Max-Planck-Institute.

Year    Awardee Name Mentor
2023 Zachary Wehrspan Elcock
2022 Chris Ball Price
2021 William Hacker Elcock
2020 Hannah Campbell DeMali
2019 Tyler Weaver
Kyle Powers
2018 Jennifer Bays DeMali
2017 Elizabeth Boehm Washington
2015 Lacy Barton Geyer
2014 Karina Kruth Rubenstein
2013  John Pryor Washington
2012 Larry Gray Khademi
2011 Xiao Peng DeMali
2010 Bret Freudenthal Washington
2009 Stanley Sedore Price
2008 Eric Brown Ramaswamy
2007 Bryan Allen Weeks
2006 Daniel Ferraro Ramaswamy
2006 Rhonda Newman Shea
2005 Greta Schrift Loring Murphy
2004 Tingting Yao Cohen
2002 Jon Rubach Plapp
2001 Olav Jaren Shea
2000 Cammon Arrington Robertson
1999 Junmin Peng Price
1998 Kristen Scott Geyer
1997 Deborah Thurmond Goodridge
1997 Greg DeKoster Roberston
1996 Leigh Ann Henricksen Wold 
1995 David Mitchell Deschenes