Donnelly receives top Graduate School award

Kimberly Eaton

John Donnelly was recently selected as the recipient of the 2018 UAB Samuel B. Barker Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies.

“The Barker Award,” named for UAB’s first graduate dean, Dr. Samuel Booth Barker, is given each spring to one Ph.D. student and one Master’s student, both of whom expect to receive their degrees within the calendar year. The Barker Awards are given to graduate students who represent the highest level of student achievement in a UAB graduate program.  

Donnelly, a doctoral student in the School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, has not only excelled in the classroom, but he has also conducted “very high impact research” on sepsis prevention. He has published 47 manuscripts as a Ph.D. student, nine of which he was first author. His work has been “transformative in identifying risk factors for community-acquired sepsis.”

Donnelly also applied for and received an F31 individual pre-doctoral training grant “Immunosuppression and Risk Prediction of Sepsis after Solid Organ Transplantation” from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences that allowed him to develop and design an approach aimed at identifying the optimal immunosuppressive treatment regimen following kidney transplantation.

In addition to his scientific contributions, Donnelly has enjoyed passing on the knowledge he has gained through teaching and mentoring. He has been very active mentoring medical students, including seven students who were conducting summer research projects. 

“I have advised doctoral students for over 15 years and John has been one of the most productive students who I have worked with over this time,” said Dr. Paul Muntner, Department of Epidemiology professor and vice chair. “Through his outstanding scholarship and service, John has made a great impact as a Ph.D. student and I believe that he truly embodies the spirit of this award.”

Donnelly is slated to graduate in April and has accepted a position on an institutional career development award at the University of Michigan.

Full article.