Murray W. Stinson Award for Excellence in Dissertation Research

The Stinson award recognizes outstanding dissertation research in microbiology and immunology.


You must have defended your dissertation between March 1 of the previous year and Feb. 28-29 of the award year (for example, March 1, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015 for the 2015 award).


We will consider you for this award based on your:

  • program status — GPA, time in program to degree, admission as BS/BA or advanced degree student and contributions to the department and the university
  • publications — first author; other authorship and role in paper(s)
  • presentations — talks and posters (local versus national or international)
  • scientific future — postdoctoral or future position in science
  • recommendation from your major professor

Selection Process

Our chair and director of graduate studies, or a committee they select, choose the awardee. We solicit applications as of March 1. To apply, submit a curriculum vitae and a letter of support from your major professor to our administrator of academic programs.


If you are selected to receive the Stinson award, we’ll notify you in a letter by mid-March.


If you receive this award, you will be recognized at our annual commencement ceremony.

Past Recipients

Year Awardee Dissertation Mentor
2022 Anna Stovall The role of the elF2 kinase Gcn2 in nitrogen metabolism and virulence factor production in Cryptococcus neoformans
John Panepinto, PhD
2021 Daniel Jaremko Identifying critical interactions in the unique Trypanosoma brucei 5S ribonucleoprotein complex and their role in ribosome biogenesis
Noreen Williams, PhD
2020 Christian Ahearn Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Genomes Reveal Vaccine Antigen Genetic Diversity and a Novel Host Cell Invasin Timothy F. Murphy, MD
2019 Richard Jin Chronic infection impairs immune-mediated skeletal muscle regeneration Elizabeth Wohlfert, PhD
2018 Michaelle Chojnacki
Funtional interations of HPV replication proteins E1 ad E2 with cellular DNA polymerase epsilon Thomas Melendy, PhD
2017 Ryan Reddinger The effect of the nasopharyngeal microbiota on pneumococcal colonization and pathogenesis in the post-pneumococcal conjugate vaccine era Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD
2016 Megan Jones Function and Regulation of the Oligopeptide Permease Transport System in Moraxella catarrhalis Timothy F. Murphy, MD
2015 Virginia Glazier Post-Transcriptional Regulation of the ER Stress Response in Cryptococcus neoformans John Panepinto, PhD
2014 Cara Clementi Internalization and Trafficking of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in Human Respiratory Epithelial Cells and the Roles of IgA1 Proteases for Optimal Internalization Timothy F. Murphy, MD
2013 Emily Clementi Mechanistic Insights Into Death Induced by Protein-Lipid Complexes in Streptococcus pneumoniae Anders P. Hakansson, PhD
2012 Martin Ciganda Analysis of a Novel Pre-ribosomal Complex in Trypanosoma brucei Noreen Williams, PhD
2011 Michelle Simpson-Abelson Assessing the Responsiveness and Reactivation of Memory T Cells in the Microenvironment of Human Ovarian Tumors and Ascites Fluid Richard B. Bankert, PhD, VMD
2010 Johanna Schwingel Characterization of Moraxella catarrhalis Lipooligosaccharide Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD
2009 Pascale Plamondon Identification and Characterization of a Novel Two-Partner Secretion System in Moraxella catarrhalis Composed of MchA1, MchA2 and MchB Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD
2008 Jeffrey Yu Role of Interleukin-17 Signaling in Acute Periodontal Disease Sarah L. Gaffen, PhD
2007 Chia-Ying Kao Cis- and Trans-acting Factors in Trypanosoma brucei Mitochondrial RNA Metabolism Laurie K. Read, PhD

Contact Us For More Information

Assistant to the Chair

Caroline Golach.

Caroline Golach

Senior Staff Assistant

Microbiology and Immunology

955 Main St. Room 5102B Buffalo, NY 14203-1121

Phone: (716) 829-2993


Murray W. Stinson, PhD

First presented in 2007, this award honors the memory of Murray W. Stinson, PhD, professor and associate chair of microbiology and immunology, who joined the department in 1969.

Stinson’s research focused on the causes of streptococcal infections. He taught medical, graduate and undergraduate courses and trained graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in bacteriology. He also directed graduate studies for the department.