Jacobs School Students Lauded for Academic Excellence

Published April 30, 2021

Fifteen students in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were honored for outstanding achievements at the University at Buffalo’s 2021 Celebration of Student Academic Excellence.

“In our academic pursuits, the journey of discovery we take is often as important as our accomplishments. ”
UB president
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The awardees were among students from disciplines across the university who were awarded — or nominated for — national, State University of New York (SUNY) and UB awards.

This year, the ceremony was conducted virtually.

MD-PhD Program Student Wins 3 Awards

Yuhao Shi, a student in the MD-PhD Program, was honored with three awards.

His research poster on experimental therapeutics, “Acquired Resistance to PD-L1 Inhibition is Associated With an Enhanced Type I IFN-Stimulated Secretory Program in Tumor Cells,” won first place in the UB Sigma Xi “Companions in Zealous Research” Award competition.

Sigma Xi is an international honor society of science and engineering. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public’s understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition.

Shi also received a UB Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity Award in the graduate division.

The award recognizes outstanding poster projects from each decanal area that achieve superiority in presentation, content and scope, and which therefore merit acknowledgment as efforts worthy of university-wide distinction. 

In the UB Three Minute Thesis Award category, Shi was awarded the People’s Choice Award.

The award recognizes doctoral students who have excelled in effectively explaining their research in three minutes, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Hannan Earns SUNY Chancellor’s Award

Jacqueline Marie Hannan, an undergraduate student in biomedical engineering, was named a winner of a 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated and have been recognized for outstanding achievements in such areas as academics, leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement or career achievement. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by SUNY.

Hannan will graduate with a bachelor’s of science degree in biomedical engineering and a human factors minor. She served as president of the Honors Student Council for two years, a student leader for first-year engineering courses, a peer mentor for multiple campus groups, and as an undergraduate researcher in four laboratories.

After leading a major research study about fairness perceptions and bias in algorithm decision-making, she was first author of a research publication submitted to Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Society 2021, a top computer science and ethics conference. 

Hannan was also a nominee in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Neuroscience Student Wins Pair of Awards

Jamal B. Williams, a doctoral student in physiology and biophysics in the neuroscience program, won two awards.

His research poster, “Identification of Histone Methyltransferase SMYD3 and E3 Ligase FBXO2 as Novel Targets for Treating Cognitive Impairment of Alzheimer’s Disease,” was awarded third place in the UB Sigma Xi “Companions in Zealous Research” Award competition.

Williams also received a UB Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity Award in the graduate division.

Scholarships and Other Awards

Other awards were:

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

  • Matt Simkulet, biomedical engineering (nominee)

Critical Language Scholarship

  • Jeff Joseph, biomedical engineering (nominee)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

UB Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity Awards (Undergraduate Division)

  • Donia W. Ahmed, biomedical engineering (nominee)
  • Juliana Marie Goldsmith, pediatrics (nominee)
  • Abigail Nicole Grabowski, biomedical engineering (nominee)
  • Pooja Mahesh Nargunde, biomedical engineering (nominee)

UB Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity Awards (Graduate Division)

UB President Addresses Honorees Virtually

Due to COVID-19, this year’s celebration was conducted virtually.

“To all of our undergraduate and graduate honorees, congratulations on your outstanding achievements. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished, especially given the challenges of the past year,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi.

“In our academic pursuits, the journey of discovery we take is often as important as our accomplishments,” he added. “Whether in the studio, the lab or the field, developing ideas into bold new expressions and findings can be a trying process. But you set a high bar for yourself, and you did not let anything deter you from your goals.”

“As an academic community we are fortunate that we do not take this journey alone. We have the support and input of fellow scholars and faculty mentors,” Tripathi said. “I know all of them join me in celebrating your impressive research and creative endeavors.”