June 6, 2018
Dr. George Garcia (left) presents awards to Christine Cuthbertson (middle) and Ting-Rong Chern (right). Amy Fraley not pictured.

During the Leroy B. Townsend Award Lecture on May 17, 2018, three Medicinal Chemistry PhD students were acknowledged for their contributions to the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy Department of Medicinal Chemistry. Each student was presented with a certificate and a monetary prize, provided by the Leroy B. Townsend Medicinal Chemistry Graduate Student Fund. The annual graduate student awards were established in 2008 to recognize and encourage outstanding performance by the students in the Medicinal Chemistry program.

Amy Fraley received the Research Excellence Award for her work in Professor David H. Sherman’s laboratory. Her research focuses on biocatalytic halogenation of complex natural products with therapeutic potential. The Department Research Excellence Award will provide Amy with a $1,000 scholarship to attend a research conference. Amy plans to attend and present her research at the 2019 National American Chemical Society (ACS) Meeting in Orlando, Florida.  Amy’s research has recently been featured in multiple University of Michigan publications. In Global Michigan, Professor Sherman and Amy Fraley were featured in the article, Diving into Science Diplomacy. Amy also awarded the prestigious Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for the 2018-19 Academic year.

Christine Cuthbertson was the recipient of this year’s Graduate Student Instructor Award, which includes a $300 prize. The award recognizes Christine for outstanding teaching in MedChem 510, “Principles of Drug Action II”. According to Mustapha Beleh, PhD, Director of Education and Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry: 

Christine did a fantastic job throughout the semester in regard to preparation for the recitation sessions, grading exams and being prepared for class.  She always met her deadlines and ran all her tasks smoothly.  She organized the muddiest point in a usable way and at times, e-mailed students with answers to these points.  She also received the highest ratings from students among all Med Chem GSIs who taught this semester and had a lot of positive comments from students, especially about her interpersonal skills, treating students with respect and empathy with students.”

Ting-Rong Chern was named the winner of the Departmental Excellence Award, which includes a $300 prize.  Ting-Rong has assisted the departmental office by providing his photography skills each year during new student orientation for the past several years. His composite photos can be seen in the display case outside of the MedChem office. Ting-Rong’s father, Ji-Wang Chern, was the invited speaker at last year’s Leroy B. Townsend Award Lecture

Each of the award recipients will have their name displayed on the plaques outside of the MedChem Department Office.