Biology awards Spector, Stalker prizes

Jonathan Hron and Daniel Perrault have been named winners of the biology department’s 2004 Spector Prize, which is awarded each year to one or more students for their original research leading to an honors thesis.

Laura Ernst and Omar Young will share the department’s 2004 Stalker Prize, awarded to a graduating senior whose college career is distinguished by scholarship, service and breadth of interest.

The Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences began presenting the annual Spector Prize in 1974 in memory of Marion Smith Spector, a 1938 graduate of the University who studied zoology under the late Professor Viktor Hamburger.

Hron’s research on the regulation of immunoglobulin synthesis was done in the laboratory of Stanford Peng, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Perrault’s research at the Tyson Research Center was done with Jamie Kneitel, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher in biology. He did a study of disruption in ecosystems and their subsequent susceptibility to invasion by foreign species.

Hron and Perrault are both headed to medical school in the fall.

The Stalker Prize is given in honor of Professor Harrison Stalker, who was an evolutionary biology, geneticist and dedicated teacher who took exceptional interest in the arts. Ernst and Young have done publication-quality biological research.

Ernst worked in the laboratory of Barbara Kunkel, Ph.D., associate professor of biology. Young worked in the laboratory of Jason Weber, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine.

Both students also have strong humanities and liberal-arts credentials. Ernst is a drama/biology double major who has played lead actress in several plays; Young is a French/biology double major who spent a year abroad in France and also sings in the a cappella group “After Dark.”

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