Since its inception, the Academy has promoted the recognition of the impressive scientists of St. Louis. This tradition continues with the 24th Annual Outstanding St. Louis Scientists Awards. Each award-winner represents an extraordinary caliber of expertise.
We wish to focus the region’s attention upon individuals, institutions and corporations known worldwide for their scientific contributions to research, industry, and quality of life. In every category, preference is given to candidates who also have a record of excellence in communicating with the public, mentoring colleagues, or leadership in the field of science or industry.
2018 Academy of Science – St. Louis
Outstanding Scientists Awards Dinner
April 5th, 2018
Missouri Botanical Garden
Table sponsorship and ticket information coming soon.
Contact Peggy James Nacke
peggyn (at) academyofsciencestl.org
2018 Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award
The Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a distinguished career of service in science, engineering, or technology.
Stuart Kornfeld, M.D.
David C. and Betty Farrell Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry
Washington University School of Medicine
Dr. Kornfeld is one of the founders of the field of glycobiology. His early work delineated the enzymatic pathway for synthesis of N-linked oligosaccharides on glycoproteins. Later, his research focused on protein trafficking and organelle biogenesis, and the inherited diseases associated with these processes. His group discovered the two-step enzymatic pathway for addition of the Mannose-6-Phosphate tag to newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes, targeting them to lysosomes. He further discovered that deficiency for the first enzyme (the phospho-transferase) is the underlying defect in patients with Mucolipidosis Types II and III. His laboratory also cloned and characterized the two Mannose-6-Phosphate receptors, which transport newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes to lysosomes, and identified the peptide motifs in these receptors that instruct the transport machinery. He served as the chief of Hematology-Oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine for nearly 40 years, has led the school’s Medical Scientist Training Program and the Physician-Scientist Training Program, and has mentored generations of outstanding physician-scientists. Kornfeld received the Passano Award in 1991, the E. Donnall Thomas Prize in 1992, the Karl Meyer Award from the Society of Glycobiology in 1999, and the Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians in 2010. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was President of the Association of American Physicians.
Past Award Recipients: Stephen M. Beverley, Ph.D. (2017); Cheryl Asa, Ph.D. (2016); Steven L. Teitelbaum, M.D. (2015); John Edward Heuser, M.D. (2014); John C. Morris, MD (2013); Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD (2012); Marcus E. Raichle, M.D. (2011); Roger N. Beachy, Ph.D. (2010); Carl Frieden, Ph.D. (2009); Eduardo Slatopolsky, M.D. (2009); William S. Knowles, Ph.D. (2008); Philip D. Stahl, Ph.D. and David C. Van Essen, Ph.D. (2007); Lee Nelken Robins, Ph.D. (2006); Teresa J. Vietti, M.D. (2005); Brian J. Mitchell, Ph.D. (2004); Ira J. Hirsh, Ph.D. and Nobuo Suga, Ph.D. (2003); Maurice Green, Ph.D. and Patty Jo Watson, Ph.D. (2002); Jerome R. Cox, Jr., Sc.D. and Robert W. Murray, Ph.D. (2001); Philip Needleman, Ph.D. and Robert H. Waterston, M.D., Ph.D. (2000); Frank E. Moss, Ph.D. and William S. Sly, M.D. (1999); Louis V. Avioli, M.D. and Leonard Berg, M.D. (1998); Paul E. Lacy, M.D., Ph.D. and Robert M. Walker, Ph.D. (1997); John Olney, M.D. (1996); Michel Ter-Pogossian, Ph.D. (1995)
2018 Science Leadership Award
The Science Leadership Award recognizes a distinguished individual — not necessarily a scientist—or organization that has played an important leadership role in the development of science and scientists in the St. Louis region.
Randall Prather, Ph.D.
Curators’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Biotechnology
University of Missouri, Columbia
Prather’s research centers on genetic improvement of livestock and the use of swine as models for biomedical research. He was the first to adapt transcriptional profiling techniques to the study of early pig embryos, and has used this information to improve embryo culture systems. Prather applied these technologies to produce the world’s first transgenic pigs by oocyte transduction and nuclear transfer, and first knockout in a pig (GGTA1), thus providing a potential source of organs for xenotransplantation into humans. Prather’s group has made over 45 different genetic modifications to pigs and over 1,100 cloned pigs. These genetically engineered pigs have medical and agricultural utility from regenerative medicine and disease modeling to altering the composition of meat and disease resistance. An agricultural example is resistance to disease. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) results in an estimated $6 million loss per day in North America and Europe. Prather’s group knocked out the CD163 gene and made pigs that are resistant to PRRSV. Introduction of these gene edited animals into the food supply will provide for sustainable agriculture that will provide for food security. One biomedical example is a mutation in both copies of CFTR in humans results in cystic fibrosis (CF), and about 5% of the population are carriers; thus representing the most prevalent genetic mutation in adolescents in the U.S. Introduction of the mutation in the pig results in 100% of the pigs having all of symptoms in humans thus helping clinicians to understand approaches for treatment of CF.
Past Award Recipients: Peter Wyse Jackson, Ph.D. (2017); Henry (Hank) C. Foley, Ph.D. (2016); Cortex Innovation Community (2015) and Ralph S. Quatrano, Ph.D. (2015); Novus International (2014) and Robert Fraley, Ph.D. (2014); Nestle´Purina PetCare (2013) and Karen Seibert, Ph.D. (2013); James S. McDonnell Foundation (2012) and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D. (2012); Emerson (2011) and Timothy Eberlein, M.D. (2011); Missouri Botanical Garden (2010) and M. Carolyn Baum, Ph.D., OTR (2010); The Boeing Company (2009) and William A. Peck, M.D. (2009); Charles Kilo, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E. (2008) and The Monsanto Company (2008); William (Bill) Danforth, M.D. and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (2007)
2018 Trustees Award
The Trustees Award recognizes outstanding contributions in keeping with the Academy of Science mission of promoting the understanding and appreciation of science. Through exceptional leadership and communication, their impact crosses geographic boundaries and enriches private, public, and academic sectors.
Peter Hoch, Ph.D.
Curator, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Missouri Botanical Garden
Hoch is Director of Graduate Studies and Curator in the Research Division of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Hoch studied with Dr. Peter Raven, working on the systematics of North American Epilobium, a large genus in the Evening Primrose family. He has continued his work in this family and is one of the world’s authorities on this group of plants. He serves as a liaison and adjunct faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and University of Missouri-St. Louis advising and mentoring graduate students. Hoch has been active with Graduate Students for several decades with many students completing their dissertation research with Peter. Their research subjects have included studies of plant systematics, pollination biology, plant anatomy, cytology, and phenology and climate change with a wide range of research experiences in the herbarium, lab, greenhouses, and field. With support from the National Science Foundation he has conducted a series of summer internships for undergraduates as part of NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Hoch has been a team leader studying the biodiversity in St. Louis Urban parks at the Academy of Science – St. Louis BioBlitz for over ten years.
Ty T. Vaughn, Ph.D.
Vice President, Global Regulatory
Monsanto Distinguished Science Fellow
Growing up in rural America and working on various farming operations inspired Vaughn’s passion for agriculture and his deep interest in science. Over the course of his education and career, that interest manifested itself into an inquisitiveness to find solutions for complex challenges across multiple disciplines and perspectives in agriculture. Vaughn has a unique combination of superior technical skills, business acumen and strategic leadership that has resulted in numerous technologies being brought to the agriculture community to address important needs of farmers. His contributions to innovation in agriculture began with roles in R&D discovery where his leadership resulted in identifying several novel genes that are now commercialized and led to oversight and championing the growth of several key crops in new emerging markets around the world. Success in these roles opened doors to pivotal leadership opportunities in the global commercial business. Currently, as Vice President of Global Regulatory, he ensures sound science is used to secure new product launches around the world.
Vaughn has become an influential leader in industry associations, such as Croplife America and is often sought out by colleagues as well as scientific and community leaders for his perspective on various topics. Vaughn mentors and coaches individuals within Monsanto and shares his skills and experience in the academic arena, encouraging the next generation of leaders in science and technology. This aspect of his career further demonstrates his unique broad achievements in advancing innovation.
Past Award Recipients: Philip O. Alderson, M.D. (2017) and Sharon L. Deem, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dipl. ACZM (2017); Sherri M. Brown, Ph.D. (2016); Jennifer K. Lodge, Ph.D. and Robert Magill, Ph.D. (2015); George Yatskievych, Ph.D. and Michael Cosmopoulos, Ph.D. (2014); Pana Charumilind, PhD (2013); Mabel L. Purkerson, M.D. (2012); Janey S. Symington, Ph.D. (2011) and Linda Cottler, Ph.D. (2011); Pfizer-St. Louis (2010); Heidi R. Hope, Ph.D. (2010); Lincoln I. Diuguid, Ph.D.(2009); Paul Markovits, Ph.D. and Paul A. Young, Ph.D. (2008); Patricia E. Simmons, Ph.D. (2007); Thomas A. Woolsey, M.D. (2006); Charles R. Granger, Ph.D. (2005); Luther S. Williams, Ph.D. (2004); Will D. Carpenter, Ph.D. (2003); Jessie L. Ternberg, M.D., Ph.D. (2002); Ernest G. Jaworski, Ph.D. (2001); Willis V. Hauser (1999)
2018 Fellows Award
The Fellows Award recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in science.
Dan Hoft, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy and Immunology
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Hoft has pursued novel approaches for tuberculosis vaccines. Although a tuberculosis vaccine exists, protection is limited and better vaccines are urgently needed. Dr. Hoft’s current vaccine trials test whether mucosal vaccinations/booster vaccinations can enhance immunity induced by conventional vaccination. He was the first to demonstrate that human γ9δ2 T cells develop protective memory responses after vaccination, a paradigm shift that provides an important new approach for tuberculosis vaccine development. Dr. Hoft has advanced the understanding of Trypanosoma cruzi infection and immunity. T. cruzi causes Chagas disease, a leading cause of infectious heart disease in Latin America for which no vaccines exist. Dr. Hoft’s lab showed that CD4+ Th17 cells can program robust protective immunity to T. cruzi infection and identified the mechanisms of protection. He discovered a novel role for B cells in preventing CD8+ T cell exhaustion during T. cruzi infection. His lab developed vaccines that are protective in mouse models of T. cruzi infection. He identified specific CD4 epitopes that are presented by a large proportion of the population as promising candidates for vaccine development. Dr. Hoft has advanced influenza vaccine development. Influenza vaccines must be reformulated every year because of viral antigenic drift. Dr. Hoft has identified T cell epitopes that are highly conserved between different influenza strains. He demonstrated that these epitopes elicit immune responses in mice expressing human MHC molecules, suggesting that vaccines targeting such epitopes could succeed in humans and that vaccines protective against diverse influenza strains may be within reach.
Gary Stacey, Ph.D.
Curators’ Distinguished Professor
University of Missouri, Columbia
Dr. Stacey is an Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has consistently been among the world leaders in the study of biological nitrogen fixation, which is of global agricultural importance. He has been instrumental in the development of genomic resources for the study of soybean. He has 13 patents, two of which support the Novozymes product OptimizeTM. He was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology and Fellow of the American Society for Plant Biology. Stacey’s main research interest lies in the mutually beneficial interaction between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and legumes, particularly soybeans. Soybean with its high protein content and nutritious oils is a crop of paramount importance to Missouri, the US and the world. Soybean plants are able to harbor bacteria in their roots that take gaseous nitrogen from the air and convert it into nitrogen-containing compounds the host plants can utilize. This natural fertilization translates into lower fertilizer requirements, with direct economical and ecological benefits in agriculture. In addition, Stacey’s research program creatively combines research with soybean and the model plant Arabidopsis, which is not able to accommodate bacterial nitrogen fixation, to tease apart the perception of microbes as friends or foes. This combination and the vast array of genetic, molecular, and biochemical approaches and their current -omics versions that Dr. Stacey employs to investigate fundamental questions in plant biology creates an outstanding research environment for young and ambitious scientists.
Past Award Recipients: Ebenezer Satyaraj, Ph.D. (2017) and Jeremy Taylor, Ph.D. (2017); James A. Birchler, Ph.D. (2016); Thomas P. Burris, Ph.D. (2016); Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D. (2016); Samuel Achilefu, Ph.D. (2015) and Enrico Di Cera, M.D. (2015); David Holtzman, M.D. (2014) and Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. (2014); Dale Dorsett, Ph.D. (2013) and Samuel Klein, M.D. (2013); Govindaswamy Chinnadurai, Ph.D. (2012) and Scott J. Hultgren, Ph.D. (2012); Duane Grandgenett, Ph.D. (2011) and Toni Kutchan, Ph.D. (2011); Alan L. Schwartz, Ph.D. (2010); Cheryl S. Asa, Ph.D.(2009) and Gerald Medoff, M.D. (2009); Martin H. Israel, Ph.D. (2008), Kattesh V. Katti, Ph.D. and Robert M. Senior, M.D. (2007); Barbara Schaal, Ph.D. and Raymond E. Arvidson, Ph.D. (2006); G. Alexander Patterson, M.D. and Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D. (2005); Patricia G. Parker, Ph.D. and Clifford M. Will, Ph.D. (2004); Susan Mackinnon, M.D. and Raymond G. Slavin, M.D. (2003); Carl M. Bender, Ph.D. and Robert E. Ricklefs, Ph.D. (2002); Christopher I. Byrnes, Ph.D. and Dennis W. Choi, M.D., Ph.D. (2001); Allen R. Atkins, Ph.D. and Sarah C. R. Elgin, Ph.D. (2000); Robert B. Belshe, M.D. and Ananthachari Srinivasan, Ph.D. (1999)
2018 James B. Eads Award
The James B. Eads Award recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in engineering or technology.
Elizabeth Bryda, Ph.D.
University of Missouri, Columbia
Animal models play a pivotal role in advancing research important for human health and the availability of well-characterized models is critical for ensuring robust and reproducible scientific results. As Director of the NIH-funded Rat Resource and Research Center (RRRC), the only centralized repository for rat models in the US and one of only two such repositories in the world, Dr. Bryda is responsible for providing ready access to quality-controlled animals, rat related-reagents and services that facilitate biomedical research world-wide. Leveraging her expertise in molecular genetics, she has been active in the generation/characterization of animal models to study human disease and has developed molecular methods for ensuring genetic quality control of animal strains and cell lines. She has been involved in the isolation of new rat embryonic cell lines, development of a method for cell ablation within genetically engineered animals, refinement of existing rodent strains to make them better disease models and generation of new “reporter” rats that can be used broadly by investigators in a variety of fields. Through the RRRC and as the MU Animal Modeling Core Director, she has guided development of genome editing expertise using CRISPR/Cas9 technology which has benefited investigators both locally and nationally. She has used this technology to create new knock-out and knock-in rat models of inflammatory bowel disease and to generate mice carrying rare, unique human variants to assess whether these variants lead to disease in a paradigm that allows ready assessment of putative disease- causing genetic changes from individual patients.
Raj Jain, Ph.D.
Barbara J and Jerome R. Cox, Jr. Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Jain has made several fundamental research contributions to the field of computer networks including design of Ethernet, ATM, Optical, and Wireless networks and the traffic management on the Internet. In 1978, Dr. Jain was part of the team at Digital Equipment Corporation that designed and productized the first version of Ethernet – the wired network that connects all desktops and datacenter computers. Jain noticed that speed mismatch would cause severe traffic congestion similar to those seen at the exits from high-speed highways to slow city roads. He developed several fundamental principles for traffic management and resource allocation that are used throughout the Internet today. All packets on the Internet have two bits in the header that are based on his “DECbit” work on congestion avoidance. The Additive Increase Multiplicative Decrease (AIMD) principle developed by his group is the basis of distributed resource allocation. Jain Fairness Index is a commonly used metric to measure fairness of resource allocation among competing users. Dr. Jain was a co-founder and CTO of “Nayna Networks, Inc.” a next generation telecommunications systems company in San Jose. He is a life fellow of IEEE, Fellow of ACM, and a Fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science.
Chief Program Engineer Platform Subsystems
Jeffery Roach is the Integrated Vehicle Energy Technology Program Chief Engineer where he directs the development of innovative system architectures and technologies to remove thermal flight restrictions, increase the aircraft’s range/persistence, and better accommodate mission growth. Under his leadership, a subsystem model-based design capability was developed and implemented to reduce development program cost and schedule risk. Jeff Roach has made significant contributions that have impacted the design of multiple Aerospace products from front line, manned fighter aircraft, to unmanned attack aircraft, to commercial aircraft including: Joint-Unmanned Combat Air System; X-45A; 787; KC-46 Tanker; 747-8; Unmanned Little Bird; Boeing’s Joint Strike Fighter; F-15; F/A-18E/F; T/AV-8B; and YF-23. He has led diverse technology teams that include engineers and scientists from many different companies in the United States and abroad. Hydraulics and hydraulic actuation have benefited significantly from Mr. Roach’s contributions. He designed, modeled, and demonstrated the integration of a fluidic hydraulic system into the F-15 with acceptable noise levels the experts said could not be achieved. As the AV-8B hydraulics group Lead Engineer, he proposed am AV-8B digital flap controller redesign that eliminated flap system mishaps.
Past Award Recipients: Tom H. Adams, Ph.D. (2017) and Robert Standley, Ph.D. (2017); Rob Mitra, Ph.D. (2016); Babu Chalamala, Ph.D. (2015) and Charles M. Hohenberg, Ph.D. (2015); Lihong Wang, Ph.D. (2014) and Charles L. Armstrong, Ph.D. (2014); George Gokel, Ph.D. (2013) and Gregory Yablonsky, Ph.D. (2013); Kevin Depperman (2012) and Stuart A. Solin, Ph.D. (2012);Ettigounder (Samy) Ponnusamy, Ph.D. (2011) and Alexander Rubin, Ph.D. (2011); David A. Fischhoff, Ph.D. (2010) and Stephen R. Padgette, Ph.D. (2010); Ramesh K. Agarwal, Ph.D. (2009); Sherman J. Silber, M.D., F.A.C.S. (2008); Robert B. Horsch, Ph.D. (2006); Krishnan K. Sankaran, Ph.D. (2005); Rudolph N. Yurkovich (2004); Donald P. Ames, Ph.D. (2003); Richard E. Pinckert, Ph.D. and Jonathan S. Turner, Ph.D. (2002); Richard D. Bucholz, M.D. (2001)
2018 George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award
The George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award recognizes outstanding achievement in science, engineering, or technology that results from collaboration among two or more (up to three) individuals across disciplinary or institutional boundaries.
Xuemin (Sam) Wang, Ph.D.
E. Desmond Lee Professor of Plant Sciences
University of Missouri, St. Louis & Danforth Plant Science Center
Dr. Wang has made seminal contributions to the field of plant lipid metabolism, signaling, and analysis: 1) His first cloning of PLD was a major breakthrough, which led to the cloning of PLDs in yeast and animals, providing the catalyst for rapid advances in PLD research. His systematic analyses of phospholipase D (PLD) and other phospholipase families have advanced biochemical and functional understanding of membrane lipid hydrolysis. 2) Sam has been a driving force in plant lipid signaling. His work has led to the discovery of phosphatidic acid (PA) as an important class of lipid mediators in the cell and the elucidation of PA action in signaling cascades with proteins, kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors. 3) His vision and role in developing lipidomic analysis has broadly benefited the research community. As founding director, he led the establishment of the Kansas Lipidomic Research Center and pioneered the application of lipidomics to address biological questions, including characterization of lipolytic enzymes, identification of bioactive lipids, and lipid- protein interactions. Furthermore, Sam has made significant progress in translating his lab discoveries to improve crops in oil production, drought tolerance, and N/P use efficiency. Sam has published over 160 papers, edited two books, and holds several U.S. patents. Wang enthusiastically promotes scientific research by organizing conferences and serving on editorial boards and federal review panels.
Past Award Recipients: Edward Spitznagel, Ph.D. (2017); Yuanlong Pan, BVM, Ph.D. (2016); Gary D. Stormo, Ph.D. (2016); Gregory R. Heck, Ph.D. and Technical Community of Monsanto Leadership Team (2015) Timothy J. Ley, M.D. (2012) Elaine R. Mardis, Ph.D.(2012) Richard Wilson, Ph.D. (2012)
2018 Innovation Award
The Innovation Award recognizes a scientist or engineer – age 40 or under (for 2018 award, age 40 or under by December 31, 2017) – who has demonstrated exceptional potential for future accomplishments in science, engineering or technology.
Carla Reynolds, Ph.D.
Next Generation Composite Materials Scientist
Boeing Research & Technology
Dr. Reynolds joined Boeing Research and Technology’s Next Generation Composite Materials group in and within six months, she earned the role of Principle Investigator and lead of the computational composite materials research team due to clear demonstrations of expertise in polymer physics and molecular scale modeling. In her current role, she is developing robust molecular dynamics simulation tools that allow engineers to predict the impact of process pathway on the structure and performance of thermoset materials in addition to developing the internal strategy for computational tool development. Her efforts in the field have already led to two novel modeling methodologies that allow an in depth understanding of the driving forces that govern thermoset materials behavior at the nano and micro scale. Dr. Reynolds has authored numerous publications on molecular modeling of polymeric materials and champions collaborations across industry, government, and academic research teams. Based on these efforts, she has been invited to develop a reoccurring workshop centered around the development, standardization, and validation of process models for composite materials to take place at SAMPE 2018. In addition to her internal technical work, Reynolds is leading collaborative efforts with the Air Force, NIST, and several Universities to drive the field of molecular level computation and increase the impact these tools have in an industrial setting. Dr. Reynolds strives to improve our fundamental understanding of polymeric materials and develop novel computation tools that have the potential to revolutionize composite materials R&D by targeting industrially relevant problems.
Past Award Recipients: Liviu Mirica, Ph.D. (2017) and Kater Murch, Ph.D. (2017); Tiffani D. Eisenhauer, Ph.D. (2016); Gary J. Patti, Ph.D. (2016); Gautam Dantas, Ph.D. (2015) and Yiyu Shi, Ph.D. (2015); Caitlin Kelleher, Ph.D. (2014); Angel Baldan, Ph.D. (2013) and Katherine A. Henzler-Wildman, Ph.D. (2013); Audrey R. Odom, M.D., Ph.D. (2012); Randall J. Bateman, M.D. (2010); Ganesh K. Venayagamoorthy, Ph.D. (2010); Jonathan M. Chase, Ph.D. (2009); Timothy E. Holy, Ph.D. (2009); Sonya Bahar, Ph.D. (2008); Eric C. Leuthardt, M.D. and Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D. (2007); Shelley D. Minteer, Ph.D. (2005); James H. Buckley, Ph.D. (2004); Phyllis I. Hanson, M.D., Ph.D. and James P. McCarter, M.D., Ph.D. (2003); Karen L. Wooley, Ph.D. (2002); Jonathan B. Losos, Ph.D. (2001); Steven F. Dowdy, Ph.D. and Michael E. Wysession, Ph.D. (2000); Laura L. Dugan, M.D. (1999); Scott Hultgren, Ph.D. (1998); James M. Bornholdt, Ph.D. (1997); Alison Goate, Ph.D. and Robert D. Davinroy (1996); Jacob C. Langer, M.D. (1995)
2018 Science Educator Award
The Science Educator Award recognizes a distinguished individual on the basis of outstanding contributions to science education or to the public understanding of science, engineering, or technology. As each category of award now includes a strong education and outeach component, and we have another mechanism for awarding K-12 Teacher Awards, the Educator category is primarily for those in higher education or the corporate sector. This is not a reflection on the excellent work in education, but rather is a verification of the high value of educational endeavors (including mentoring, citizen outreach, STEM advocacy and interdisciplinary efforts) performed by the Award recipients in all categories.
David Kirk, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology Emeritus
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Kirk has spent a lifetime teaching developmental biology and doing research on the evolutionary origins of multicellular organisms. He is internationally known for his research on Volvox carteri development and evolution, and has co-authored numerous scientific publications on these topics and has authored a book on Volvox for Cambridge University Press. Kirk has a great passion for educating and supporting teachers. In particular, he works to advance K-12 science education by improving the way evolution education is taught in schools. Dr. Kirk devotes his time to making sure evolution is a key part of a sound K-12 science curriculum. Dr. Kirk’s interest in advancing K-12 science education is not limited to evolution. He led the revision of the Science Outreach “hands-on” Modern Genetics program that is now used in many local high schools, and he also served as principal investigator for an NIH grant that funded development of middle-school inquiry-based learning materials in collaboration with the Saint Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Science Center and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Johannes Strobel, Ph.D.
Full Professor & Director, Makerspace
University of Missouri, Columbia
Strobel is Full Professor, Information Science & Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri where he leads a maker space initiative and conducts research in STEM education, particularly the integration of science and engineering. His research focuses on engineering as an innovation in education; learning through hands-on activities; and empathy and care in engineering. In recognition of his expertise, Dr. Strobel has lead an award-winning research center at Purdue University and has been serving as an Invited Member on the National Academy of Engineering Committee for Implementing Engineering in K-12. Bringing his expertise to the classroom, Dr. Strobel was lead designer of Hands-on Standards STEM in Action™, an internationally available set of learning modules for preK-5th grades published by ETA hand2mind®. The national version is used in 200,000 classrooms reaching 6,000,000 students. The international version is now in use in 35 countries, and was selected as a finalist for two international education awards. Dr. Strobel is keynote and featured speaker and continues to be personally active in mentorship, teaching his modules to elementary school classes, mentoring students, and reaching teachers and administrators through professional development workshops.
Past Award Recipients: David Westenberg, Ph.D. (2017); Kyra N. Krakos, Ph.D. (2016); Robert Marquis, Ph.D. (2014); James Wilson, Ph.D. (2013); Pamela Gay, Ph.D. (2012) and Michael W. Friedlander, Ph.D. (2012); Young Scientist Program, Washington University in St. Louis (2011); Harold H. Harris, Ph.D. (2010); Victoria Lynn May (2009); Harold R. Messler, B.S. (2008) and John Rigden, Ph.D. (2008); Patrick L. Osborne, Ph.D. (2007); Kenneth Mares, Ph.D. (2006); Robert A. Williams, Ph.D. (2005); Paul H. Young, M.D. and William L. McConnell (2004)