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Honors for Chandel, Svaren and Khal

ASBMB Today Staff
Dec. 11, 2023

Chandel wins Lurie Prize

Navdeep Chandel was one of two recipients of the 2023 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health announced. This award is given to researchers under the age of 52 who have made important and distinct discoveries in the field of mitochondrial science by exploring the characteristics and functions of mitochondria in human physiology and disease.

Portrait of Navdeep Chandel
Navdeep Chandel

Chandel is a professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular genetics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His lab studies mitochondria as signaling organelles in the context of cellular differentiation, cancer and immunity. In 2015, he published an introductory book titled “Navigating Metabolism.”

In addition, Chandel has published hundreds of research articles and is highly cited, according to Clarivate. He received the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award in 2016. He has also won the Clarence Ver Steeg Faculty Mentor Award, which recognizes faculty at Northwestern for supporting and encouraging the academic and professional development of graduate students.

Chandel and the other Lurie Prize recipient, Vamsi K. Mootha, each received a $50,000 honorarium, and both were recognized at the FNIH 11th Annual Awards Ceremony in October in Washington, D.C.

Svaren appointed to research leadership

John Svaren became the interim associate vice chancellor for research in the biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin in September. In this new role, he oversees the biological sciences and interdisciplinary research across campus. In addition, Svaren is responsible for divisional area recruitment and retention, grant matches, faculty awards and special initiative awards such as Research Forward.

portrait of John Svaren
John Svaren

Svaren is a professor of comparative biosciences at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Waisman Center intellectual and developmental disabilities core. His research explores the genomic and epigenetic determinants of the myelination process. In addition, Svaren is developing new therapeutics to treat myelination disorders such as the inherited peripheral neuropathy known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. His lab was the first to develop chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis to identify regulatory elements in peripheral myelin genes.

Svaren has received a UW Vilas Associate Research Award and been honored as an outstanding mentor in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. He also received a Pfizer Research Award from the UW School of Veterinary Medicine.

“I am looking forward to this new leadership opportunity to interact with and support researchers in the biological sciences across campus,” Svaren said in a UW press release. “The interdisciplinary research enterprise at UW–Madison has been a tremendous asset and I hope to help foster continued growth so that our research mission remains on the cutting edge.”

Khal wins Duke chancellor’s award

The Duke University School of Medicine Office of Biomedical Graduate Education announced that nine second-year Ph.D. students received the 2023 Chancellor’s International Award. Among the awardees is American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology member Sai Kwan Khal. The chancellor’s awards supports international students with a full year of tuition and fees as well as a stipend to help cover living expenses. The award also provides recipients with opportunities for professional development, such as workshops, conferences and mentorship programs.

Sai Kwan Khal

Khal is a graduate student in biochemistry and works in the lab of Michael Boyce, an associate professor of biochemistry at Duke. Khal’s research focuses on protein glycosylation during health and disease. He completed his undergraduate degree at the College of Wooster in Ohio. During his time at Wooster, Khal served as a peer educator, teaching his fellow students about health issues such as alcohol use and stress management.

“International students bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to research universities,” Beth Sullivan, the associate dean for research training and professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, said in a Duke press release. “Their diverse perspectives foster critical and creative thinking. This diversity of perspectives is essential for conducting cutting-edge research.”

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