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University Relations

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June 19, 2006
Contact: Sharon Graham, Self Graduate Fellowship Program, (785) 864-7249.

Ten doctoral students at KU are newest Self fellows

LAWRENCE — Ten doctoral students at the University of Kansas have been selected to receive the prestigious Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship.

Self fellowships are four-year awards to new or first-year doctoral students that cover full tuition and fees, provide a $23,000 annual stipend and include a unique development program. Self fellows have the opportunity to develop skills in communication, management and leadership, and to increase their knowledge of the major issues of their time. The capstone of the development program is an intensive public policy seminar in Washington, D.C.

The fellowship’s mission is to identify and recruit exceptional doctoral students who will make significant contributions to their fields of study and society as a whole.

Madison “Al” and Lila Self of Hinsdale, Ill., created the Self Fellowship Fund in 1989; the first fellows were named in 1991. Since then, more than 90 students have benefited from the program. Madison Self is a 1943 KU graduate in chemical engineering. Lila Self is a native of Eudora and attended KU with the Class of 1943.

The new Self fellows are listed below by hometown with biographical information and a brief description of their academic work.

From Lawrence
Stephanie Bishop is in the first year of doctoral degree work in molecular biosciences. Her research project at KU involves development of cell-based and biochemical assays that can be used to screen large molecular libraries to identify potential new cancer therapeutics. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from KU in 2001. She worked for several years as an assistant and associate scientist at AAI Pharma, formerly AAI Development Services, in Kansas City, Mo. Bishop has been a member of KU’s Women's Rugby Team and is an award winning triathlete. She is the daughter of Rodney and Audrey Bishop and a graduate of Lawrence High School.

From Olathe
Molly McVey is a master’s degree student in mechanical engineering. Her research investigates the biomechanics of falling for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. She received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from KU in 2003. Her senior design project was an innovative throwing chair to improve athletic performance in National Disabled Sports Alliance competitions. McVey has received several scholarships including the Black and Veatch Recycling Scholarship, the Exxon Mobil Mechanical Engineering Award, the Zimmerman Graduate Fellowship and the Chaffee Graduate Scholarship. She worked in production resource for Frito Lay Inc. before returning to graduate school. She is the daughter of Martin and Barbara Pape and a graduate of Olathe South High School.

From San Jose and Boulder, Colo.
Russell Webb begins this fall as a doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science. Webb is interested in research that examines technology’s potential impact on the health care industry. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from KU in 2001. He was a Sprint Scholar and a recipient of an Engineering Alumnus Scholarship. Since 2002, Webb has worked as a senior software engineer for Cerner Corp. in Kansas City, Mo. At Cerner, Webb was involved in development of a surgical case tracking system and co-developed an anesthesia monitoring and documentation system. He is the son of Paul and Joie Webb and a graduate of Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton. His parents are former residents of Boulder, Colo.

From Boulder and San Jose, Calif.

From Denver
Cameron Siler is in the first year of his doctoral studies in ecology and evolutionary biology. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas-Austin in 2004. Before coming to KU, Siler participated in the Philippine Herpetological Survey as a Fulbright fellow. At the University of Texas, Siler received a Presidential Scholarship, a National Honor Society Scholarship and the Howard W. Mckee Scholarship among others. At KU, he has been a curatorial assistant in the molecular phylogenetics lab at the Natural History Museum. Siler plans to continue herpetology research in the Philippines and eventually pursue strong conservation policy and biodiversity education within nations of southeast Asia. He is the son of Eric and Cherie Siler and a graduate of Cherry Creek High School, Englewood.

From Alpharetta
Gary Brandt begins work this fall on his doctorate in medicinal chemistry. He hopes to study peptidomimetics and to develop novel structures to mimic active sites of peptides to elicit a desired biological response at a receptor site. Brandt received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Georgia State University in 2005. At Georgia State, Brandt was the 2003-04 Organic Chemistry Student of the Year and the recipient of the Dean Scholarship Key and the Faculty Scholarship Award. At KU, Brandt plans to work at the interface of synthetic chemistry and biochemistry. He is the son of Gary and Lynette Brandt and a graduate of Milton High School.

From Champaign
Natalie Ciaccio is in the fist year of work toward a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry. She is studying the structure, function and cellular localization of a class of proteins involved in cancer metastasis. She received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 2001 from Purdue University. She worked as a quality control representative for Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis for several years and later worked as a research specialist in the biopharmaceutical science department at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her goal is to return to the pharmaceutical industry and work in the development of biological agents as drugs. Since coming to KU, she has received the Takeru Higuchi Fellowship. She is the daughter of Nick and Nancy Ciaccio and a graduate of Centennial High School.

From Waukegan and Winnetka
Jay Sarthy is in the first year of work toward a doctorate in molecular biosciences. His research involves human genetics and biological aging. He received his bachelor’s degree in human biology in 2003 from Northwestern University. Sarthy was a Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience Summer Fellow in 2003 and from 2000 to 2002 participated in Abbott Laboratories Summer Research Internship. He has worked as a research assistant at KU, a research technologist at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo., and a summer fellow at Evanston Hospital Research Institute in Winnetka. He is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the son of Vijay Sarthy of Winnetka and Aparna Sarthy of Waukegan. He is a graduate of Loyola Academy, Wilmette.

From Urbandale
Adam Duerfeldt will begin work this fall on his doctorate in medicinal chemistry. Duerfeldt is interested in participating in research for drug synthesis and development with implications for cancer. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry this spring from Central College in Iowa. During his time at Central College, Duerfeldt earned several academic scholarships and played baseball. He was named to ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-District baseball team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He is the son of Scott and Kristin Duerfeldt and a graduate of Urbandale High School.

From Holland
Donna Lubbers is in the first year of work toward a doctorate in medicinal chemistry. She is interested disease research and treatment. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2005 from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind. Lubbers received numerous awards while at Saint Mary’s, including the Outstanding Senior Award, the Multicultural Affairs Recognition Award, the F. Lee Benton Research Award and the Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Honoree. At Saint Mary’s she was also involved with the Student Diversity Board, Student Activities Board and was first-year class vice president. She is the daughter of Roger and Anne Lubbers and a graduate of Holland High School.

From Reading
Mark Bailey will begin work this fall on his doctorate in chemical and petroleum engineering. He is interested in using advances in biomaterials to develop new methods of drug delivery. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from University of Pittsburgh, where he served as treasurer of the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and was a student member of the National Biomedical Engineering Society. He was the recipient of the Samuel A. Taylor Engineering Scholarship and a member of the Omega Chi Epsilon chemical engineering honor society. He is the son of Michael and Charlene Bailey and a graduate of Exeter High School.


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