April 12, 2016
Congratulations to Lukasz Ochyl, winner of the 2016 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship.

Lukasz Ochyl has been awarded the 2016 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship. Mr. Ochyl is pursuing his PhD in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the U-M College of Pharmacy. The Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship supports exceptional doctoral candidates who are actively working on their dissertation research and writing. The Fellowship acknowledges students who have taken a risk and are working on particularly creative or ambitious dissertations. This competitive fellowship provides the winner with a stipend of $32,000, candidacy tuition, and required fees for twelve months.

Mr. Ochyl’s thesis advisor is James Moon, PhD, John Gideon Searle Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. His thesis project focuses on therapeutic cancer vaccines – an emerging area of study with tremendous translational potential. As the field grows, the experience Mr. Ochyl gains from his thesis work will allow him to make meaningful contributions not only to the scientific community, but also society as a whole.

“Lukasz is an outstanding graduate student with strong dedication to his project and passion for expanding his knowledge in his field of study,” notes Dr. Moon. “Lukasz has demonstrated his critical thinking skills by carefully designing experiments, identifying potential pitfalls and difficulties, and proposing alternative approaches. His thesis project requires a wide repertoire of laboratory skills ranging from materials synthesis, tissue culture, immunological assays, to animal work,” continues Dr. Moon. “These skills will allow Lukasz to progress through his thesis project and become extensively involved in collaborative work.”

Mr. Ochyl is a strong academic scholar as well. He obtained his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, where he graduated with distinction with a GPA of 3.92. At the University of Michigan, he has excelled in all of his courses, obtaining a 4.0 GPA. He has grown greatly in his role as a graduate student and is becoming an independent researcher. His experience and knowledge in the expanding field of cancer immunotherapy, along with his technical and critical thinking skills, position him to make significant contributions throughout his career. This fellowship’s financial support and prestige will aid Mr. Ochyl in realizing his research and career goals.