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Student highlight: Focus on research

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The 2015 recipient of the Robert Irsay-Norman Dahle Outstanding Graduate Student Memorial Award in Medicinal Chemistry, J. Matthew Meinig, returned to KU in 2016 to accept his award.

The award is named in memory of medicinal chemistry department graduates Robert Irsay (Ph.D. 1964) and Norman Dahle (Ph.D. 1965). The honor is the highest award bestowed on a graduate student by the department. Meinig is now a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR, where he conducts research under the direction of Thomas S. Scanlan, professor of physiology and pharmacology.

Meinig earned his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas in 2015. He is listed as co-author on two journal articles featuring research he conducted with Peterson. He earned his master’s degree in medicinal chemistry from KU in 2011. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in 2009.

Anuj Khandelwal was the 2016 recipient of the Irsay-Dahle award. He joined professor Brian Blagg’s group in January 2011. His research focused on the development of EGCG analogues to inhibit Hsp90 and the development of isoform selective N-terminal Hsp90 inhibitors.

Khandelwal earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry (2006) and master’s degree in organic chemistry (2008) at the University of Delhi, New Delhi, India. He was listed as co-author on six publications while at KU, and earned his Ph.D. in 2016. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the direction of professor of chemistry Marty Burke.

Chair Tom Prisinzano (left) stood with Meinig (center) and Meinig's faculty mentor Balke Peterson (right) at the Irsay-Dahle Award Ceremony in late 2016.
Khandelwal’s faculty mentor Brian Blagg (left) celebrates with Khandelwal (center) and associate professor and director of graduate studies Apurba Dutta (right) at the March 2017 ceremony.

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