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Four Kansas faculty members named recipients of Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

LAWRENCE — Four faculty members at two Kansas universities have been named recipients of the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards, the state's most prestigious recognition for scholarly excellence.

This year’s recipients:

  • Nyla Branscombe, professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, recipient of the Balfour S. Jeffrey Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Vara Prasad, professor in the Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, recipient of the Irvin E. Youngberg Award in Applied Sciences
  • Bharat Ratra, professor in the Department of Physics, Kansas State University, recipient of the Olin K. Petefish Award in Basic Sciences
  • Shirley ShiDu Yan, professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Kansas, recipient of the Dolph Simons Award in the Biomedical Sciences.

This is the 36th annual presentation of the awards, established in 1981 by Takeru Higuchi, a distinguished professor at KU from 1967 to 1983, and his wife, Aya. The awards recognize the exceptional long-term research accomplishments of faculty at Kansas Board of Regents universities. Each award includes a citation and a $10,000 award for ongoing research efforts. The money can be used for research materials, summer salaries, fellowship matching funds, hiring research assistants or other support related to research.

Each award is named for former leaders of KU Endowment who played key roles in recruiting Higuchi to KU. Their financial support of KU helped enhance university research throughout Kansas.

Chancellor Douglas A. Girod will speak at the presentation ceremony. He will be joined by John Colombo, interim vice chancellor for research. Past Higuchi Award recipients who attend also will be recognized.

For more information about the awards, visit the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards webpage.

The fund is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.