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Ace Madsen, MD

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The Department of Biology, now the School of Biological Sciences, was a bit of a boot camp for Ace Madsen and other pre-med students.   The Uinta Basin in the northeast corner of Utah can seem like a ways “out there” near the border of Colorado and one of the most famous dinosaur quarries in […]

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Ed Groenhout

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All that was needed to become a doctor was to be told at graduation he would never get into med school. Ed Groenhout, BS’85 , has developed a deep love for travel and for the people of the world. He and his family have visited five continents and dozens of countries, and they plan to […]

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The Gandhi Effect

The Gandhi Effect Distinguished Alumni Awards Rajesh Gandhi, BS’86 Monica Gandhi, BS’91    Leena Gandhi, BS’92 Last December, when the three Gandhi children, Rajesh BS’86, Monica BS’91 and Leena BS’92 returned home to Salt Lake City—two from one coast, and one from the other—they celebrated their parents fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. As alumni, all three, from […]

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Jeanne Novak, BS’87

Jeanne Novak Distinguished Alumna 2020 In 2014 alumna Jeanne Novak found herself at Ebola ground zero. She was ready. The Ebola outbreak in the summer of 2014 was a long way from CBR International (CBR) in Boulder, Colorado. But for several weeks the Company, which helps clients research new drugs and navigate U.S. Food and […]

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Allergy Season & Climate Change

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With spring around the corner, here’s some bad news for allergy sufferers: Human-caused climate change has both worsened and lengthened pollen seasons across the U.S. and Canada, a study Monday reports. The new research shows that pollen seasons start 20 days earlier, are 10 days longer and feature 21% more pollen than they did in […]

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Adam Madsen, BA’06

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Adam Madsen Adam Madsen, BA’06 in Biology, was the quintessential student-athlete. To be a student-athlete requires extraordinary talent on the field and in the classroom. This is particularly true with science degrees due to the rigorous curriculum. Madsen grew up in the Uinta Basin area, living in both Roosevelt and Vernal, two small farming towns […]

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Julia Bailey-Serres, BS’81

SBS Distinguished Alumna 2020 Julia Bailey-Serres, BS’81, is known for her research on mechanisms of plant adaptive responses to environmental stresses. She remembers enrolling in “a lot of lab classes in genetics, animal physiology and chemistry” at the U. And she fondly recalls a team-taught lab with now Nobel laureate Mario Capecchi. Other teachers and […]

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Michele Lefebvre, PhD’05

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Michele Lefebvre Michele Lefebvre, PhD’05, knows exactly what graduate students in the School of Biological Sciences need to know about their academic careers at the University of Utah. “What you learn here,” she advises them, “will apply to any career path you choose. The abilities to critically read, analyze, and write will serve you well […]

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Nancy Parry, BS’63

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Nancy Parry When Dr. Nancy Parry, BS’63, was eight years old, she talked her mother into taking her to a fortune teller in Ogden. On the way there her mother asked her what she wanted to do for a career. “I want to be a doctor,” she replied with some embarrassment, believing her mother would […]

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Lee Roberts, BS’72

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  LEE K. ROBERTS   Last year the College of Science celebrated its 50-year anniversary. When the College was formed, in 1970, Lee K. Roberts, BS’72, had nearly completed his bachelor’s degree in Biology. “My undergraduate training at the U gave me a strong background in science in general and biology in particular. It helped […]

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Gameil Fouad, BS’93

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Gameil Fouad   As an undergraduate student at the U, Gameil Fouad, BS’93, had some big decisions to make. Having grown up in Layton, Utah, Fouad spent much of his time exploring the foothills and canyons of northern Utah. “I honestly wanted to pursue a career in ecology or environmental science. I’d envisioned a life […]

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Dale C. Larsen, BS’59

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Dale C. LARSEN In the mid-1950s, when Dale C. Larsen (BS’59) first enrolled at the U there were only six Colleges on campus including the College of Letters and Science, and a two-year medical school. Larsen was born and raised in Roosevelt, Utah, a small farming town in northeastern Utah. The drive to Salt Lake […]

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Amy Davis, PhD’03

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“I enjoy learning about how infectious diseases have shaped human history because I find it inspiring to frame my current work in a broad historical context,” says Amy Davis, PhD’03. A Senior Director, Biochemistry Research & Innovation at Utah-based BioFire Diagnostics, LLC, Davis says she was “fortunate to be born into a world with antibiotics […]

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Ryan Watts, BS’00

Ryan Watts Distinguished Alumnus   Dr. Ryan Watts, BS’00 in Biology, is the CEO and Co-Founder of Denali Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on finding treatments and cures for neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Watts and his colleagues at Denali are passionate about discovering drug therapies to help over 22 million people […]

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James Detling, PhD’69

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James K. Detling James K. Detling (PhD’69) arrived at the University of Utah from Ohio State University where he had just finished his Master’s degree in botany. He followed his graduate advisor, Dr. Lionel Klikoff, who transferred to the U as a tenure-line faculty member. While his advisor guided Detling’s research and mentored him in […]

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Ole Jensen, BS’72

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On the surface, Ole Jensen’s start as an undergraduate biology major, angling for medical school, didn’t appear particularly auspicious. His one claim to fame was that as an undergraduate the Salt Lake native was tapped to be a “calf sitter,” which meant that he would sit all night with young bovine used in experiments and […]

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David Hillyard, BS’73

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David Hillyard   When David Hillyard, BS’73, was recognized in November with a Healthcare Hero Award, he was quick to share the love. “This honor should really go to the fantastic team of individuals I’ve been working with who have made high-capacity, quality COVID testing possible,” Hillyard said. “It’s very flattering, but every day I […]

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Alumni Panel

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Frontiers of Science – Distinguished Alumni Panel Homecoming 2019 brought a number of alumni and friends back to the U this September. Before the tailgating and the football, the College of Science fielded an All-Star game of their own. The Frontiers of Science Distinguished Alumni Panel, held September 27, featured five science alumni currently working […]

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The Daines Medical Dynasty

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The Daines Medical Dynasty Joseph Daines BS’68 Michael Daines BS’99    Brad Daines BA’05 The School of Biological Sciences claims all of our alumni, but sometimes there’s a kind of harmonic convergence that elevates an entire family of U biologists into the spotlight. Such is the case with the Idaho Daines Family of orthopedic surgeons—Joseph […]

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2020 Churchill Scholar

Five for Five. Michael Xiao brings home the U’s fifth straight Churchill Scholarship. Five years after the University of Utah became eligible to compete for the prestigious Churchill Scholarship out of the United Kingdom, the university has sported just as many winners. All of them hail from the College of Science, and all were facilitated […]

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Anna Vickrey, PhD’20

Anna Vickrey Anna Vickrey who graduated from the School of Biological Sciences with a PhD in 2020 has always been fascinated with domestication, both the process and the “products” which include the plants and animals important to our lives and history as humans. “I became really interested in the morphological diversity present both in domestic […]

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Jeffrey Webster, BS’81

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  A native of Chagrin Falls, OH, Jeff Webster, MD, FAAOS, found himself as an undergraduate at the University of Utah for “not the most mature reason, but it’s true”: the easy access to the world class skiing. He might be surprised at how common the denominator is for arriving freshmen who are held in […]

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Griffin Chure, BS’13

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Griffin Chure’s favorite memory of his time at the U was working in Dr. David Blair’s research lab. “During the summers, when class-load was low,” he says, “we characterized the flagellar protein of FIhE, a protein of unknown function.” His interactions with Blair and Dr. Sandy Parkinson “firmly set” him on a path towards a […]

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Clifford Stocks, BS’80

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In these uncertain times when “the new normal” of our lives has yet to emerge, SBS alumnus Clifford Stocks (BS’80) opens a window to fresh air on the COVID-19 pandemic. That updraft comes from his scientific orientation and is underscored by his enduring ambition to use his training in biology and beyond to elevate the […]

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Emily Bates, BS’97

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It just so happened that the day that the University of Colorado closed down its labs, including Dr. Emily Bates’, she was in labor giving birth to her second child. “I was having conversations with my students about what we needed to do from the hospital bed,” she says. “My husband could not join me […]

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Arie Sitthichai Mobley, BS’00

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When Arie Sitthichai Mobley (BS’2000) began teaching at a small liberal arts university in a department for undergraduate neuroscience, she says there were many books on stem cells, but they were either too broadly or narrowly focused, or too advanced for an undergraduate course. The lack of an appropriate textbook motivated her to write her […]

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Carol Blair, BA’64

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  Carol Blair (BA’64) is a testament to not only the value of providing research opportunities for undergraduates, but also the transformative experience of working directly with graduate students in the lab. After she had changed her major from chemistry to the brand new (at the time) field of microbiology, she says, “I was given […]

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George Elliott, PhD’81

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“Always be open to unforeseen possibilities and opportunities; never be afraid to fail, and learn from your failures,” says George Elliott (PhD’81). “Don’t get bogged down in a very narrow line of pursuit—the broader your knowledge is the more creative and successful a problem-solver you will be.” That’s great advice to U Biology students today. […]

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Steve Mimnaugh, BS’73

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Most people get to live one life. So far, Steve Mimnaugh has lived at least three. “I was always the new kid on the block,” he says. From Seattle to Spokane, Washington, and from Wallace, Idaho where his father worked as a mining engineer, to Kearns, Utah, to survive Mimnaugh tacked through life as an […]

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Jason Allen, BS’01

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Jason Allen knew early on of the opportunities the state’s flagship research university could offer him just an hour north of where he grew up in Springville. “I had always wanted to attend the University of Utah due to its prestige within the state and nationally,” he says, especially due to the U’s stellar reputation […]

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