In 2011, the Department of Genetics established the "Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetic Research" to honor the legacy of our friend and colleague Dr. Tom Kadesch. Dr. Kadesch was a member of the Genetics department from 1984 until his death in 2011, and served as Interim Chairman for his final 4 years. He was not only an excellent scientist, but also a tremendously dedicated mentor, teacher and University citizen whose contributions inspired those around him. In his memory, with the help of many generous donors, we were able to set up an endowed fund that will support in perpetuity an annual award to "a graduate student demonstrating excellence in research achievement and citizenship".
We are pleased to announce that this year's Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetic Research will be awarded to Dr. Ishmail Abdus-Saboor . Ishmail was a student in the Genetics and Gene Regulation (GGR) program of the Cell and Molecular Biology (CAMB) graduate group, and received his Ph.D. in 2012. His thesis work, performed in the lab of Dr. Meera Sundaram, used a simple model system, the nematode C. elegans, to define multiple genetically-separable roles for Ras signaling in tubular organ development. Ishmail also identified a conserved Nkx5-family transcription factor that cooperates with Ras signaling to control tube morphology. These projects resulted in first-author publications in Development and Developmental Biology . In addition to his research accomplishments, Ishmail is a deeply community-minded person and was involved in many mentoring and scientific outreach programs during his graduate career. For example, as Outreach Coordinator for the E.E. Just Biomedical Society, Ishmail organized events to expose inner city high school students and military veterans to the possibilities of a career in science. Ishmail also served as a highly dedicated teaching assistant for two large undergraduate molecular genetics courses.
The Kadesch prize will be presented to Dr. Abdus-Saboor at the upcoming Genetics Symposium on November 28, 2012. In addition to receiving a $1000 cash prize, Dr. Abdus-Saboor will speak about his research at the Symposium. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Abdus-Saboor and make plans to attend the award ceremony and Symposium on November 28.
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