An annual prize of $1500 to an outstanding PRA or other member of the School's technical research staff.
Biomedical research increasingly relies on teamwork among students, postdocs, faculty, and PRAs and other members of our technical staff. Of these, it is the technical staff who, over a period of years, log the most time in the lab and acquire unique knowledge, insight, and wisdom. They become the foundation for an efficient, productive, and collegial research atmosphere. Their contributions, however, are not recognized to the extent that they deserve. We seek to reward them, and in doing so to honor Steve Fadul's memory and strengthen the research enterprise at the School of Medicine.
Eligibility: Any Professional Research Assistant (PRA) or staff in a comparable position in the University of Colorado School of Medicine is eligible to apply or be nominated.
Selection criteria:We seek to honor contributions of PRAs whose primary responsibility is to conduct basic, applied, or clinical bench research, but who, in the course of that work, have taken the initiative to expand the scope of their work (for example by managing instruments and research projects) and by mentoring trainees. It is not necessary that the nominee be a co-author on research publications. We seek nominees who are self-directed, highly technically competent, professional, supportive of investigators and others with whom they work (e.g. students, peers), accessible & generous with assistance, effective as instructors with a love for the task (enablers), promoters of self-sufficiency & technical competence, and who broaden our capability to conduct research through teaching, training & support.
Application process: Applicants may self nominate. Applications must include a nomination letter with a description of the nominee's job history (addressing how the nominee meets the selection criteria) and supporting letters from 1-3 references. Please limit the nominating letter to one page. Send the materials to Fadul.Award@ucdenver.edu.
Contributions are tax deductible.
Online: Click here to make a secure online donation to the Steven Fadul Award fund.
To donate by check: make the check out to "CU Foundation" and on the memo line write "Steven Fadul Award." Send your check to:
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1325
Denver CO 80204, USA
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
by Michael Hall, PhD
The Steven Fadul PRA award is intended to recognize professional research associates who demonstrate the dedication, characteristics and quality of workmanship that Steven brought to laboratories in the School of Medicine during his 30-year career.
Steve's career began in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology in 1979 and, three years later, he moved to the Betz laboratory in the Department of Physiology. This laboratory and the department proved to be such a good fit with Steve that he remained there for the rest of his career.
Steve's responsibilities were extensive and reflected his dedication to his job and his interest in learning new skills and techniques. They ranged from maintaining basic operations within a busy lab to managing and operating a sophisticated microscopy facility that serves the research community campus-wide. Throughout his career he taught and mentored PRAs, graduate students, potential future graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. He loved that part of his work.
Steve was a quick learner, dependable, careful and accurate in his work, self-directed and professional. He was a very technically competent PRA and because of his abilities and these qualities he became an essential part of several educational and research activities that are signature elements of the Department of Physiology.
Steve made people feel comfortable and welcome and he was very generous with his time and his help. He was a natural s a teacher and he especially enjoyed this role. Over the years, he enabled so many, and at several professional levels, to broaden their abilities to conduct research and to increase their own self-sufficiency. His thorough understanding of the technologies that he worked with enabled him to support the activities of many investigators and to help them properly identify and achieve their research goals. Simply reading the acknowledgements in the many publications for which he provided technical support shows the value of Steve's work and the respect that his collaborators had for him. Steve was always regarded by student and faculty alike as a colleague and friend.
STEVEN FADUL PRIZE AWARDEES
Becky de la Houssay
Becky de La Houssay, PRA in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics is the
recipient of the 2016 Steven Fadul Award. Angeles Ribera, PhD, Chair of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics, provided an introduction and background. The award was presented by School of Medicine Dean John Reilly, M.D. Becky's colleagues cited her dedication, technical expertise, passion for basic science research, self-directedness, ability to work independently, love of learning, and especially her commitment to her colleagues. She has provided over 40 years of service to the University and has touched the lives of 2 generations of scientists.
Here are a few examples:
- "Becky is indefatigable and prodigiously gifted with an infectious work ethic and I use her as an example to all of my post-docs and PRAs for going the extra mile."
- "There is an essential lifeblood coursing through her veins for science that is compelling and enviable."
- "She has piloted and trouble-shot every assay we could throw at her with superb skill and excellence."
- "her technical competence and thorough understanding of the chemistry or biochemistry underlying every assay is based on 40 years of experience and is unmatched."
- Your love of teaching and excellence at it was noted by all, as was your generosity with your assistance.
- "Becky has dedicated her professional life to being the kind of PRA who makes impactful research possible by continually seeking to improve methodologies, problem-solve set-backs, and to doing whatever is humanly possible to advance every single student's, post-doc's, or experienced investigator's research so that they can be successful--with little need for self-recognition."
Dean John Reilly presented the 2015 Steven Fadul Award to Kelley Brodsky, PRA in the Department of Anesthesiology. Kelley's colleagues cited her dedication, technical expertise, passion for basic science research, self-directedness, ability to work independently, love of learning, and especially her commitment to her colleagues.
Here are some examples:
- "In more than 20 years in research labs, I have never witnessed a PRA who takes her job as seriously, nor who is as committed. She takes initiative on projects in a manner I have not seen even in driven post-doctoral fellows"
- "She is an expert in a huge number of sophisticated molecular biology techniques, but always willing to acquire and establish new techniques in the lab."
- "A brilliant PRA, a passionate basic science researcher, Kelly without a question ranks in the top 1% of PRAs I have encountered."
- "She is extremely knowledgeable and an outstanding teacher in the laboratory setting."
- "Kelley has offered her time and energy to teaching several of my trainees, fueled only by her own joy in the growth of others."
- "Her wonderful comprehensive thinking in basic mechanistic research and her broad technical expertise enables her to support the activities of many investigators within the laboratory and throughout the Medical School."
Each year many well-qualified and well-supported professional research associates are nominated to receive the Steven Fadul Award for PRA excellence. This year Leslie Knaub was the selection committee's unanimous choice as the outstanding representative of our PRA population.
Leslie has served in the Department of Medicine's Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes Division & the VA community in the laboratories of Drs. Robert Eckel & Jane Reusch as a PRA & senior PRA for over 14 years.
Early in her career she quickly demonstrated her skill, technical competence and mastery of bench work and was given the challenging responsibility of the phenotypic characterization, maintenance & management of a sophisticated mouse colony developed uniquely for use in cardiovascular and diabetes research in the Eckel lab. Despite the difficulty of the task she mastered it with ease. She conducted all of the training of lab staff & ensured the laboratory ran smoothly in every capacity for 7 years.
Leslie broadens the scope of the research endeavors of her labs through independently investigating & learning new techniques & bringing them to the bench. She was a key collaborator in the development of the VA mitochondrial respirometry core, travelling locally & internationally to learn the use & care of the instrumentation. She now runs the core facility, the equipment and trains others in its use.
Presented by Bill Betz
Nicole possesses a wide range of laboratory skills, including those in molecular biology, histology,
immunohistochemistry & microscopy, which she employs in Jennifer Richer's laboratory in the Department of Pathology. In addition, Nicole manages the Cancer Center's Laser Capture Microdissection facility. Her expertise is sought by researchers both within and without the School of Medicine. One investigator from Yale wrote, "In my 40 years as a P.I. in the Yale Medical School, I have never had a Research Associate as thoroughly proficient as Nicole. She has the unique qualities of at once being completely knowledgeable of the tasks, skilled and meticulous in her work, patient and determined to do her best for a successful outcome."
In addition to this professional expertise, Nicole received unanimous high praise for her personal qualities. She is always willing to share her knowledge and she has instructed more than one- hundred clinical fellows, graduate students, post-docs, faculty and high school summer students over the years.
One colleague noted that Nicole could easily have pursued work as a hospital histotechnologist for a much higher salary, but "Luckily she enjoys the diversity & challenge of basic research and the rewards of training others." It is indeed lucky for the UC Denver research community in general and the Department of Pathology in particular that she has remained with us. We offer warmest congratulations to Nicole Spoelstra, the 2013 recipient of the Steven Fadul Award.
Joy, your background is so diverse and interesting, I would like to share a bit of it with the people here tonight. You graduated magna cum laude from Gustavus Adolphus College with a BA in biology, then worked as a research tech at National Jewish before returning to school, earning a masters degree in Bioengineering from Boulder. Work followed, first in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in Boulder, then at NREL, the National Renewable Energy Lab, in Golden. In 1993 you joined us, working first in the Department of Pathology, and for the past 15 years, studying HIV immunopathogenesis in the lab of Elizabeth Connick, Professor of Medicine, in the Infectious Disease Division.
Morgan, your contributions to the research programs in the Department of Emergency Medicine extend far beyond your skills in data management, qualitative research, survey design and statistics. Your energy, scientific integrity, mentorship and standards of productivity and excellence inspire everyone with whom you work. You are known for your irrepressible commitment to lifelong learning, enrolling in courses and earning an MPH degree even while shouldering a large workload as a Senior PRA.
Despite your modesty, your quiet leadership in research projects are evident to everyone, whether the study is about skiers and helmets, disaster preparedness in vulnerable communities, clinical trials, or the recent study, which you led, on different patient sampling methods in emergency departments.
Here are some examples of what people have said about you:
- You have an amazing ability to navigate among people with diverse interests and communication styles, without ever losing your own voice.
- You provide the kind of data analysis, review and consultation that one would expect from a well-trained researcher. You are a team player, an independent self-starter and an absolute joy to work with.
- A colleague remembers that when she arrived as a new PRA in emergency medicine, Morgan's incredible knowledge, work ethic, creativity, and contagious laugh make me strive to become a better PRA. Truly, words fall short when trying to describe the great collaboration and trust one gains from working with Morgan.
- Her reputation is a mosaic of industry, collaboration, professionalism, and integrity. She has helped 65 students, residents, fellows and faculty members fulfill their research goals, while strengthening the research productivity and national standing of our department. She is passionate about her work, kind to patients and respected by all.
In the inaugural year of the Steven Fadul Award, the high number of qualified nominees nearly overwhelmed the selection committee. With support from Dean Krugman, three awardees were chosen in this first year, a further testamonial to the broad and deep support for the award to our vital PRA colleagues.
The three awardees in 2010 were Mary Wellish, Jim Dover, and Andrea Lewellyn. The citations by Dean Krugman, who presented the awards, are below.
Presented by Dean Richard Krugman
"Since 1973, when you joined Don Gilden's lab, you have made major contributions to his research. There is a general saying in the lab: Any time you have a question, scientific or otherwise, the standard answer is, "Ask Mary." In any situation, if an experiment needs to be executed with due diligence, you will get it done, quickly and properly. You take initiative in designing of experiments and interpretation of results. Your superb technical skills, generous spirit, and long experience have made you indispensible to all in the lab."
Presented by Dean Richard Krugman
"Jim, you have been with Mark Johnston since his lab was founded nearly 30 years ago. Your contributions go well beyond the 12 papers that you have co-authored. You have played a major role in training the students and postdocs who have passed through Mark's lab, as well as many others from other labs. In fact, it was rare to attend a student or postdoc research presentation or read a student thesis that did not acknowledge Jim Dover's assistance and support. You have brought this expertise and generosity of spirit with you from St. Louis, and already more than 25 investigators have availed themselves of your help with Next Generation DNA sequencing. It is no wonder that, at Mark's going away party at Wash. U., the list of the top 10 reasons why people there were sad to see Mark go was topped by this: 'Jim Dover is going with him.' "
Presented by Dean Richard Krugman
"Andrea, you are an expert embryologist, but so much more. Beginning with your work in Barry Pierce's lab, and continuing for the past 20 years with Jim Maller, you have trained a generation of scientists with your adept touch in manipulating both Xenopus oocytes and dilatory graduate students. Generous with your time, stern when you need to be, you have kept Jim's Howard Hughes lab operating in a coherent and efficient manner. And for the really heroic experiments, such as injecting 600 oocytes at a rate of 12 per minute, you pulled it off with grace and style, as you did everything else."