SIU Med School Honors Four for Excellence in Research

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May 30, 2013



SIU Med School Honors Four for Excellence in Research

Three research awards have been announced by the Department of Pharmacology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

The Satu M. Somani Memorial Award was presented to Dr. Amanda Velazquez of Oak Park, and Dr. Bryan Glaenzer of Millstadt. Both are 2013 graduating seniors. The cash award is presented to a senior medical student for outstanding performance in pharmacology and therapeutics.

Velazquez is the daughter of Rudy and Nancy Velazquez of Oak Park. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2009). Glaenzer is the son of Larry Glaenzer and Cindy Taphorn, both of Millstadt. He earned his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio (2009). The Somani award was established in memory of Satu M. Somani, Ph.D., who was an SIU professor of pharmacology and toxicology from 1974 until his death in 2002.

The Barbara L. Armour Memorial Award was presented to Lisa Volk-Draper, a researcher in SIU’s medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology (MMICB) department, who has been on the SIU staff since 2006. The award is presented to recognize excellence, dedication and contributions to scientific research. She received the award for her work in the laboratory of Sophia Ran, Ph.D., associate professor of MMICB. Volk-Draper and her husband, Robert Draper, reside in Springfield. She earned her bachelor’s degree in microbiology and biotechnology from Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. (2006), and her master’s in molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry from SIU in Springfield (2008). The Armour Award was established in memory of Barbara Lawhorn Armour, a pharmacology researcher, who died in 1995.

The Hemal Vakharia Memorial Award was presented to Simon Martin, a research intern, for his work. The award is presented to a student who has provided outstanding contributions to research. Martin received the award for his work in the laboratory of Kathleen Campbell, Ph.D., SIU professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery and director of the division’s audiology research. Martin is the son of Peter and Toni Martin of Springfield. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at Greenville College (2013). The award was established in memory of Hemal Vakharia, a summer help student who died in an automobile accident in 1992.

Established in 1970, the SIU School of Medicine is based in Springfield and Carbondale. The medical school’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health needs through education, patient care, research and community service. SIU’s research efforts cover a wide range of basic and clinical sciences. Currently more than 200 research projects funded by outside organizations, primarily federal agencies, are underway in 100-plus laboratories. For information, call SIU’s main number, 217-545-8000, or go online, www.siumed.edu.

Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the citizens of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.

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