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June 18, 2010

SIU Med School Announces Three Research Awards

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. Gina Paulauskis, a 2010 graduate from Glen Carbon.  The cash award is presented to a senior medical student for outstanding performance in pharmacology and therapeutics.  Paulauskis is the daughter of John and Sue Paulauskis of Glen Carbon.  She earned her bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2005).   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 Patricia Jett, researcher in SIU’s pharmacology department, who has been on the staff since 2007.  The award is presented to recognize excellence, dedication and contributions to science research.  She is the daughter of Joe Biesiada and Muriel Hickson of Springfield and is married to Donald Jett of Springfield.  Jett is a graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield (2005).  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 Kimberly Bartosiak for her work in pharmacology.  Bartosiak is the daughter of Richard and Cheryl Bartosiak of Bethalto.  She is a senior at the University of Illinois Springfield.  The award is presented to a student who has provided outstanding contributions to research.  Bartosiak received the award for her work in the laboratory of Victor Uteshev, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology.  It was established in memory of Hemal Vakharia, a summer help student who died in an automobile accident in 1992.

Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine this year is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding.   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 230 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,

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