- A chemist and a molecular biologist have been named the first
recipients of a new faculty award created by Madison "Al"
and Lila Self.
The first Self Faculty Scholars are Robert C. Dunn, associate
professor of chemistry, and Leslie Heckert, assistant professor
of molecular and integrative physiology at the KU Medical Center.
The Self Faculty Scholar Award recognizes and helps support KU
faculty members in engineering, business and the sciences who
are early in their careers and have demonstrated the potential
to establish renowned and peer-acclaimed scholarship within their
research fields. The award also acknowledges professors who are
prepared to mentor pre-doctoral students in the Self Graduate
Each year, the Self Faculty Scholars program will select two
faculty members, who will receive $50,000 annually for three
years. The faculty scholars may use the funds in any way to support
their research and careers, including paying for personnel, equipment,
supplies or travel directly related to research.
In addition to conducting research, the faculty scholars will
serve as mentors to students in the Madison and Lila Self Graduate
Fellowship program. The fellowships are awarded annually to incoming
doctoral students who have outstanding records in scholarship
and who are judged to possess unusual leadership potential.
Dunn's research focuses on developing new microscopic techniques
to study single biological molecules.
Leslie Heckert focuses her research on understanding how reproductive
genes in mammals are activated during the development of the
testes and ovaries. Her goal is to understand the biological
processes that determine the sex of an individual and the regulation
of reproductive hormone levels.