Awards and Honors
Saul Winegrad Dissertation Awards
The Saul Winegrad Award for Outstanding Dissertation was established in 1995 in honor of the founding Director of BGS, Saul Winegrad, MD, Emeritus Professor of Physiology. The award was created to recognize a dissertation of outstanding quality which makes a significant contribution to biomedical science. Selections are made at the graduate group level. The awards are presented each May during the BGS graduation ceremony
Jon Samuel Kanefield Prize for Cystic Fibrosis Research
This prize was established in 2003 for BGS students carrying out cystic fibrosis- or related research. The prize honors Jon Samuel Kanefield, who died in 1998 at the age of 42 from cystic fibrosis. The funds for this prize were generously given to BGS by Linda Kanefield, his sister, and Norman G. Schneider. Its purpose is to help inspire young basic science investigators to pursue research related to cystic fibrosis.
The prize will be awarded on a yearly basis in recognition of an outstanding dissertation, publication or presentation of data at an academic conference relating to cystic fibrosis. Students must be nominated for the prize by a faculty member. The nominating letter should include a description of the student’s research and why the student is being nominated. A copy of the dissertation, manuscript or meeting abstract must accompany the letter of recommendation. Nominations should be emailed to Judy Jackson.
Jessica Lok Prize for Cystic Fibrosis Research or Related Research in Infectious Disease, Metabolism and Growth
This prize was established in 2007 for BGS students carrying out cystic fibrosis- or related research in infectious disease, metabolism and growth. The prize honors Jessica Lok, who died in 2006 at the age of 21 from cystic fibrosis. Jessica is the daughter of Sparky Lok, Professor of Pathobiology. The funds for this prize are provided by BGS and the prize's purpose is to help inspire young basic science investigators to pursue research related to cystic fibrosis, infectious disease, metabolism and growth.
The prize will be awarded on a yearly basis in recognition of an outstanding dissertation, publication or presentation of data at an academic conference relating to cystic fibrosis, infectious disease, metabolism and growth. Students must be nominated for the prize by a faculty member. The nominating letter should include a description of the student’s research and why the student is being nominated. A copy of the dissertation, manuscript or meeting abstract must accompany the letter of recommendation. Nominations should be emailed to Judy Jackson.
Jane M. Glick Graduate Student Teaching Award
(formerly The Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Training)
The Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Training was established in 1993 to recognize excellence in graduate student teaching. This award was renamed in 2009 as the Jane M. Glick Graduate Student Teaching Award, in remembrance of Jane Glick, PhD, and her dedication to graduate student teaching. All Biomedical Graduate Faculty are eligible for this award, which recognizes excellence in graduate (PhD) teaching, mentoring, and education. The recipient is selected on the advice of a committee composed of faculty and a student representative. This award is presented during the BGS Graduation Ceremony each May.
Michael P. Nusbaum Graduate Student Mentoring Award
The Michael P. Nusbaum Graduate Student Mentoring Award was established in 2017 to honor Mikey Nusbaum as he stepped down from his role of BGS Director. Mentors embody the skills, experience, and wisdom essential to success in science; they serve as models for how one conducts his or her life in balance with a demanding career; and certain faculty – such as Mikey – play pivotal roles in guiding students in reaching their scholarly potential. All BGS faculty are eligible for this award, which will recognize excellence in graduate (PhD) mentoring. The recipient is selected on the advice of a committee composed of faculty and a student representative.
Blavatnik Family Fellowship in Biomedical Research
In 2018, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania received a $2 million gift from the Blavatnik Family Foundation to establish the Blavatnik Family Fellowship in Biomedical Research in the Penn Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) program. Headed by industrialist and philanthropist Len Blavatnik, the Blavatnik Family Foundation has a strong history of supporting talented young scientists at premier institutions around the globe.
The Blavatnik Family Fellowship will be competitively awarded to six Penn BGS students for each of the next four academic years. By 2021, the Blavatnik Family Fellowship will have impacted 24 students, all Blavatnik Family Fellows, by providing a crucial boost at the very moment these talented trainees are launching as independent investigators. The Fellowship ensures support for students during their work with their mentors, a pivotal relationship in their scientific journey.
The inaugural class of Blavatnik Family Fellows was chosen in July 2018 from many nominees from the BGS program. The students selected are Divyansh Agarwal, Edward Chuang, Jinyang Li, Kamen Simeonov, Huchuan “Cedric” Xia and Linda Zhou.
The 2019 Blavatnik Family Fellows are Megan Clark, Ryan Cupo, Kelsey Kaeding, Yekaterina Kori, Danielle Murashige, and Daniel Zhang.
The 2020 Blavatnik Family Fellows are Bridget Gosis, David Lee, Phuong Nguyen, Joseph Park, Tiffany Tsang, and Qin Zhu.
The 2021 Blavatnik Family Fellows are Alexis Crockett, Fangxue Yan, Jamal Green, Peter Carman, Camille Testard, Amy Campbell, Daniel Park, Nitsan Goldstein, and Matthew Gazzara.
The 2022 Blavatnik Family Fellows are Nicholas Aboreden, Yuxi Ai, Diego Espinoza, Jesse Lee, Sonia Lombroso, and Zhen Miao.
Presidential PhD Fellowship
Beginning in the 2021-22 academic year, the President's PhD Initiative creates and supports Presidential PhD Fellows drawn from among the most accomplished and diverse doctoral students at or newly recruited to Penn. These Fellowship recipients have demonstrated exceptional academic promise and leadership potential, contribute to increasing diversity in their fields, and have a research agenda that is exceptionally innovative and/or impactful locally, nationally, or globally. Each Presidential PhD Fellow will receive a three-year fellowship, including summer support and funds to support their research.
The inaugural class of Presidential PhD Fellows includes 4 BGS students: Jenea Adams, Jose Campos, Kimberly Edwards, and Seble Negatu.
The 2022 Presidential PhD Fellows include 6 BGS students: Ahlenne Abreu, Shaneaka Anderson, Callie Crawford, Fabian Ramos-Almodovar, Rachel Richards, and Naria Sealy.
Competitive Externally-Awarded Fellowships
Information about external fellowship award applications, including NIH Individual NRSA F31 and F32 Awards and NSF awards, is available on the Training Grants and Fellowships page.