KU News Release

Oct. 11, 2010
Contact: Kevin Boatright, Office of Research and Graduate Studies, (785) 864-7240

KU, Kansas State professors earn Higuchi-KU Endowment Research awards

LAWRENCE — Two professors from the University of Kansas and two from Kansas State University are recipients of prestigious Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards for 2010.

The awards, now in their 28th year, honor outstanding accomplishments in research by faculty members at KU and other Kansas Board of Regents institutions. The recognition program was established by Takeru Higuchi, a distinguished professor at KU from 1967 to 1983, and his late widow, Aya.

Four individual awards are given annually. They are named for former leaders of KU Endowment who played key roles in recruiting Higuchi to KU. Their longtime financial support of KU helped enhance university research throughout the state of Kansas.

Each award includes a plaque and a $10,000 grant for ongoing research efforts. The award money can be used for research materials, summer salaries, fellowship matching funds, hiring research assistants or other support related to research.

The 2010 Higuchi Award winners will be recognized formally at a ceremony and reception Nov. 3 at the Adams Alumni Center in Lawrence.

Balfour Jeffrey Award in Humanities and Social Sciences

Hagith Sivan is a professor of history at KU. She joined the faculty in 1993 and is regarded as a world authority on the transition of the Mediterranean region from ancient times to the Middle Ages. Her 2008 work, “Palestine in Late Antiquity,” integrates multiple aspects of history — religion, law, politics and culture — and exemplifies her scholarly engagement and breadth of knowledge in all these subjects. Sivan has made a major contribution to the field of Christian-Jewish studies, reflecting her mastery of a wide range of sources and her literary skill and analytical originality.

Dolph Simons Award in Biomedical Sciences

Christian Schöneich is a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at KU and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. He joined the faculty in 1992 and has achieved international prominence for his work on protein oxidation and its importance in human aging and various degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes. His discoveries have established him as one of the foremost experts on molecular oxidation and human diseases. In addition to his research — heavily supported by the National Institutes of Health — he is a consultant to industry, where his expertise assists in producing chemically stable pharmaceuticals.

Irvin Youngberg Award for Applied Sciences

T. G. Nagaraja is a University Distinguished Professor of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at K-State. He joined the faculty in 1980 and is an international leader in the field of gastrointestinal microbiology in cattle. His research has examined the effects of high-starch feed additives on lactic acid accumulation in feedlot cattle, as well as the causes of liver abscesses. Most recently, he has focused on food safety, especially the effect of diet on the E.coli pathogen. Nagaraja has developed a vaccine for the prevention of liver abscesses and foot rot, and his work has contributed to the industry’s reduced reliance on antibiotics.

Olin Petefish Award in Basic Science

Chii-Dong Lin is a University Distinguished Professor of Physics at K-State and associate director of the J.R. Macdonald Laboratory. He joined the faculty in 1976 and is recognized internationally as a pioneering researcher in several important fields of atomic, molecular and optical physics. His early career focused on the theoretical description of energetic ion-atom collisions. Later, he turned to studies of ultrafast, intense-field, short-pulse, laser-based physics and is regarded as a world leader in both fields. In his career, Lin has published more than 325 heavily cited scientific papers. In 2009, he organized and chaired a conference that attracted 250 of the world’s leading ultrafast/laser scientists to Manhattan, underscoring his international research reputation.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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