Spector Prize goes to Bhide, Leach

Each year, the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences awards a prize to a graduating senior in memory of Marion Smith Spector, a 1938 WUSTL graduate who studied zoology under the late Viktor Hamburger, PhD.

Hamburger was a professor of biology and a prominent developmental biologist who made many important contributions while a WUSTL faculty member.

This year, the Spector Prize is being shared by two recipients: senior biology majors Adeetee Bhide and Matthew Leach. Bhide and Leach were nominated by their research mentors for their outstanding work in research and the substantial contributions they made to the field of that work.


Bhide worked in the lab of Bradley L. Schlagger, MD, PhD, the A. Ernest and Jane G. Stein Associate Professor of Developmental Neurology, and an associate professor of radiology, of anatomy & neurobiology, and of pediatrics in the School of Medicine.

Bhide’s thesis, titled “The Effect of Orthographic Neighborhood Size on the Extent of Priming” explored priming, or the tendency for a visual stimulus to affect response to a stimulus immediately following it.

She won a Churchill Prize in February, the second WUSTL student to win the prestigious prize, which covers tuition and all fees for graduate study at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge as well as a living and travel allowance. After a year’s study at Cambridge in experimental psychology, she will enter a doctoral program in cognitive psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.


Leach worked with Rodney Newberry, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at the School of Medicine. Leach’s thesis, titled “The Processing and Function of Vitamin A in CD103+ Intestinal Dendritic Cells,” advances the work in that lab to understand how the intestinal immune system decides whether or not to mount an immune response to substances in the gut.

As part of the departmental recognition of this outstanding work, the two students will present research talks at a biology department seminar at 4 p.m. Monday, May 2, in Room 322, Rebstock Hall. A reception will follow.

Friends, colleagues, coworkers, biology department faculty and other researchers are invited to attend.

For more information, visit wubio.wustl.edu/events/2011/05/event-715 or call (314) 935-6881.

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