Three University of Wisconsin–Madison Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) faculty trainers have been honored with Vilas professorships. The professorships, totaling 40 this year, honor extraordinary members of the UW–Madison faculty with awards supported by the estate of professor, U.S. senator, and UW Regent William F. Vilas (1840-1908).
Vilas Research Professorship
Samuel Gellman, Ralph F. Hirschmann Professor of Chemistry and BTP trainer, was named to a Vilas Research Professorship.
Created “for the advancement of learning,” Vilas Research Professorships are granted to faculty with proven research ability and unusual qualifications and promise. The recipients of the award have contributed significantly to the research mission of the university, and are recognized both nationally and internationally.
Gellman joined the UW–Madison faculty in 1987. His laboratory has since helped to establish a new discipline of chemistry, combining tools and concepts from organic chemistry, biophysics and biology to design, synthesize and evaluate unnatural molecules that mimic the structures and functions of proteins and nucleic acids.
This research — spanning more than 300 publications — has been conducted in conjunction with dozens of graduate students and undergraduates, and Gellman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has enjoyed introducing thousands of undergraduates to organic chemistry in the classroom.
The professorship provides a salary supplement, funding for research expenses and a retirement supplement for faculty who serve at least 15 years as a Vilas Research Professor.
Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards
Sixteen professors received Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards, recognizing research and teaching excellence. The award provides flexible research funding for one year. Among them was genetics professor and BTP trainer Audrey Gasch.
Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Awards
Eleven professors received Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Awards, recognizing research and teaching excellence in faculty who are relatively early in their careers. The award provides flexible research funding for one year. Among these early career investigators was associate professor of genetics and BTP trainer Chris Todd Hittinger.
For the full list of recipients, see the UW–Madison press release: https://news.wisc.edu/forty-faculty-honored-with-vilas-professorships/