Dr. PrahlJohn Weis was a remarkable colleague who was passionate about many things, including the education and training of PhD and MD students. In recognition of his dedication to teaching and mentoring, a Graduate Student Award is being established in his honor. The Award recipient will be announced at the annual University of Utah Biosciences Symposium, in recognition of John’s many contributions to teaching and leadership in the Molecular Biology Program and Medical School curriculum.

The Award will be given on a competitive basis, with selection by a committee of faculty members in the Molecular Biology Program. This Award will recognize outstanding graduate achievement by a student who exemplifies John’s creative and original approach to science and life at the University of Utah. It will provide either stipend support for research by an outstanding PhD or MD student, or one or more travel awards to support student participation in a scientific meeting or course. The nature of the Award will depend upon on the amount of funds raised. Our goal is to establish a substantial permanent endowment, although the funds will be used for the same purpose if they are only sufficient for a limited term.

Funds are being collected by the University’s Development Office. Contributions can be made using this link:  John H. Weis Memorial Graduate Student Award

Thank you for honoring John’s memory and contributing to graduate education at the University of Utah.

Read more about Dr. Weis





Recipients

Year Awardee
2016 Sarah Bridge Sarah Bridge has completed her third year of medical school and has taken a leave of absence to conduct HIV/AIDS clinical research in Mbarara, Uganda as an International Clinical Research Fellow supported by the Doris Duke Foundation. She will use the Travel Award to attend a three-week immersion course on Social Medicine that will take place at Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Uganda.
2016 Dollie LaJoie Dollie LaJoie is a graduate student in Katie Ullman’s lab in the Department of Oncological Sciences. Dollie studies the role of ESCRT proteins in reforming the nuclear envelope during cell division. She will use the Travel Award to attend the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting.
2016 Gurkan Mollaoglu Gurkan Mollaoglu is a graduate student in Trudy Oliver’s lab in the Department of Oncological Sciences. Gurkan studies the role of Sox2 in the regulation of the tumor immune microenvironment in lung squamous cell carcinoma. He will use the Travel Award to attend an International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) meeting in New York.
2016 Matt Szaniawski Matt Szaniawski is a graduate student in Vicente Planelles’ lab in the Department of Pathology. Matt studies the role of SAMHD1 in controlling HIV-1 infection in primary human macrophages. He will use the Travel Award to attend the HIV Persistence During Therapy Workshop.
2017 Maria Disotaur Maria Disotuar is a graduate student in Danny Chou’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry. Maria has been developing new insulin analogues mirroring ultra-fast acting venom insulin produced by the fish-hunting cone snail, Conus geographus. She will use the Travel Award to attend the American Peptide Symposium.
2017 Jingtao Guo Jingtao Guo is a graduate student in Brad Cairns’ lab in the Department of Oncological Sciences. Jingtao is studying self renewal, differentiation and pluripotency in human spermatogonial stem cells. He will use the Travel Award to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society for Study of Reproduction.
2017 Jillian Jafek Jillian Jafek is a graduate student in Dean Tantin’s lab in the Department of Pathology. Jillian is studying the role of the Oct1 and OCA-B transcription factors in acute myeloid leukemia. She will use the Travel Award to attend the Conference on Molecular and Translational Advances in the Biology and Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
2018 TK Coody TK Coody is a graduate student in Adam Hughes’ lab in the Department of Biochemistry. TK has been performing a genetic analysis of lysosomal dysfunction and how nutrient mislocalization of nutrients can cause cellular toxicity. He will use the Travel Award to attend the Gordon Conference on Molecules, Pathways, and Physiology of Endosomes, Lysosomes and Lysosome-Related Organelles.
2018 Erin Larragoite Erin Larragoite is a graduate student in Vicente Planelles’ lab in the Department of Pathology. Erin has been studying HIV latency, including identifying compounds that reduce deleterious cytokine induction upon latent HIV reactivation and developing a barcoded HIV library to further understand the establishment and maintenance of HIV latency. She will use the Travel Award to attend the Cold Springs Harbor Retroviruses Meeting.
2018 Anne Martin Anne Martin is a graduate student in Megan Williams’ lab in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. Anne has been studying the role of cell adhesion molecules in formation of mammalian synapses. She will use the Travel Award to attend the Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Connectivity.
2018 Deeptha Vasudevan Deeptha Vasudevan is a graduate student in Rich Dorsky’s lab in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. Deeptha has been studying the role of local neurogenesis in functional recovery following spinal cord injury using a zebrafish model system. She will use the Travel Award to attend the Gordon Conference on Neural Development.
2019 Christopher Creveling Christopher Creveling is a graduate student in Brittany Coats’ lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Christopher studies the of adhesion between the vitreous and retina of the human eye.
2019 Kaitlyn Ellis Kaitlyn Ellis is a graduate student in Sophie Caron’s lab in the Department of Biology. Kaitlyn studies the neuronal connectivity patterns that enable efficient learning, using Drosophila.
2019 Seyi Falekun Seyi Falekun is a graduate student in Paul Sigala’s lab in the Department of in the Department of Biochemistry. Seyi studies the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and has discovered novel functions of the mitochondrial acyl carrier protein in coordinating iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis.
2019 Jinze Li Jinze Li is a graduate student in Janis Weis’ lab in the Department of Pathology. Jinze has identified novel host factors that influence the severity of Lyme arthritis development.