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June 15, 2011

SIU Med School Announces Four Research Awards

Four 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. Daniel Deem, a 2011 graduate from Villa Grove.  The cash award is presented to a senior medical student for outstanding performance in pharmacology and therapeutics.  Deem is the son of Charles and Deborah Deem of Villa Grove.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Illinois College (2007).   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 Michelle Lowy, researcher in SIU’s pharmacology department, who has been on the SIU staff since 2008.  The award is presented to recognize excellence, dedication and contributions to science research.  Lowy received the award for her work in the laboratory of Randolph Elble, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology.  She and her husband, Barry Lowy, have two sons, Abraham and Joshua, and reside in Springfield.  Lowy earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Lake Forest College (1983).  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 Ben Richardson, an SIU graduate student, for his work in pharmacology.  The award is presented to a student who has provided outstanding contributions to research.  Richardson received the award for his work in the laboratory of Donald Caspary, Ph.D., SIU professor of pharmacology and SIUC distinguished scholar.  Richardson is the son of Michael and Tresa Richardson of New London, Mo.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Illinois College (2008).  The award was established in memory of Hemal Vakharia, a summer help student who died in an automobile accident in 1992.

A special Pharmacology Award was presented to Dr. Minh-Bao Le, a 2011 senior medical school student from Waterloo.  The award is in recognition and appreciation of her high academic achievement and contribution to the educational activities of the pharmacology department.  She worked with Amy Arai, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, and Dr. Brian Moore, a neuropathologist at Memorial Medical Center and a volunteer faculty member at SIU.  Le is the daughter of Thong and Minh-Tam Le of Waterloo.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2007).   

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 255 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.

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