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Four named recipients of 2014 Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards

Mon, 11/10/2014

LAWRENCE – Four faculty members at two universities in Kansas have been named recipients of the state's most prestigious recognition for scholarly excellence: the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards. The four will be recognized Tuesday, Dec. 9, during a ceremony at the Lied Center of Kansas.

This is the 33rd annual presentation of the awards, established in 1981 by Takeru Higuchi, a distinguished professor at the University of Kansas from 1967 to 1983, and his wife, Aya. The awards recognize the exceptional long-term research accomplishments of faculty at Kansas Board of Regents universities. Each award includes a citation and a $10,000 award for ongoing research efforts. The money can be used for research materials, summer salaries, fellowship matching funds, hiring research assistants or other support related to research.

This year's recipients are Victor Bailey, Charles W. Battey Distinguished Professor of Modern British History, KU; Craig Lunte, professor of chemistry, KU; Susan J. Brown, University Distinguished Professor of Biology, K-State; and Frank F. White, professor of plant pathology, K-State.

Awards are given in four categories: humanities and social sciences, basic sciences, biomedical sciences and applied sciences. Each award is named for former leaders of KU Endowment who played key roles in recruiting Higuchi to KU. Their financial support of KU helped enhance university research throughout Kansas.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will speak at the presentation ceremony. She will be joined by Mary Lee Hummert, interim vice chancellor for research. Past Higuchi Award recipients who attend also will be recognized.

This year's recipients of Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards:

Balfour Jeffrey Award in Humanities and Social Sciences

Victor Bailey is a pioneering social historian of Britain, best known for his five books and one edited volume that apply sociological and humanistic approaches to crime and disorder in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since 2000, he has also served as director of KU’s world-renowned Hall Center for the Humanities. Bailey came to KU in 1988 from teaching and research positions in New York and the United Kingdom. His academic background includes bachelors and doctoral degrees from the University of Warwick, a master’s degree from the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, and a research fellowship at Worcester College, Oxford.

Dolph Simons Award in Biomedical Sciences

Craig Lunte is a leader in the development, calibration and pharmaceutical application of microdialysis sampling, especially the study of transdermal drug delivery and other translational uses of the technique. He is a past chair of the Department of Chemistry. Lunte came to KU in 1987 from a postdoctoral research appointment at the University of Cincinnati. He previously was a bioanalytical research scientist with Procter & Gamble. His academic background includes a bachelor’s degree from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a doctorate from Purdue University.

Olin Petefish Award in Basic Sciences

Susan J. Brown and colleagues developed a model system for developmental genetic and molecular studies based on the red flour beetle, Tribolium. She led early efforts to sequence the Tribolium genome and is a founding member of an international initiative to sequence 5,000 insect genomes. She serves as director of the Arthropod Genomics Center at K-State and the Bioinformatics Core of the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. Brown came to K-State in 1983 as a research associate in biochemistry. Her academic background includes a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a doctorate from the University of Missouri.

Irvin Youngberg Award for Applied Sciences

Frank F. White is recognized as a world expert in the molecular biology of bacterial diseases of plants and the genetic analysis of the plant/microbe interactions. He and collaborators have identified a series of host genes that condition susceptibility and resistance in the host. His research on TAL effectors has contributed to recent advance in TAL effector-mediated genome editing. White came to K-State in 1985. His academic background includes a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Washington, where he was also a postdoctoral fellow.

Attendance at the Dec. 9 ceremony is by invitation. More information about the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Awards is available online.

The fund is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.



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