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February 26, 2009

Young investigators honored at Early Career Award Recognition Symposium March 4

On Wednesday, March 4, the University will recognize four assistant professors who have won prestigious national awards with a symposium in their honor. Sponsored by the Office of Research, the Early Career Award Recognition Symposium is an annual event now in its third year.


The honorees are Maya Gupta, assistant professor of electrical engineering, 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers; Heather Christy Mefford, acting assistant professor, of pediatrics, Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists; Munira Khalil, assistant professor of chemistry, Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering; and Mike MacCoss, assistant professor of genome sciences, 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.


According to Associate Vice Provost David Eaton, the symposium is one way to give scholars early in their careers some attention on their own campus.


“Every year the Office of Research looks at national competitions for grants and fellowships, and every year we find our young investigators are very successful,” he said. “It’s great for them to get the research support, and perhaps they’ll get some recognition in their departments, but we wanted to extend that recognition campuswide.”


The office also elected to make the event a symposium so that the four honorees could share their research with colleagues outside their departments. They’ve been asked to keep their presentations to 15 minutes and to gear them to a general audience. The symposium will convene in the Hogness Auditorium, Health Sciences A420 at 2:30 p.m. with welcoming comments by Provost Phyllis Wise. The presentations are:



  • Mike MacCoss: Proteomics Technologies: Efforts to Improve the Speed, Dynamic Range, and Sensitivity of Protein Analysis
  • Munira Khalil: Ultrafast Chemical Dynamics: A Molecular Perspective
  • Heather Mefford: Finding the missing pieces: Discovery of novel genomic disorders in pediatrics
  • Maya Gupta: How to Make Good Guesses


A reception in the Health Sciences Lobby, C300, will follow the presentation.


The symposium is open to anyone who is interested. No pre-registration is required.