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Agricultural Experiment Station recognizes early career winner at banquet

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Laramie – On Feb. 12, the University of Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) gathered its researchers and supporters to celebrate the achievements of the past year at the 2013 AES Research Awards and Appreciation Banquet. 

This year, the only award presented was the Early Career Achievement Award, which went to Molecular Biology Assistant Professor Jay Gatlin.

“Jay Gatlin’s research accomplishments are absolutely amazing for a scientist at this stage of his career,” said Bret Hess, associate dean of research in the college and AES director. “Having received a perfect score on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant and publishing results of his research from UW in Science are testaments to the quality of his work. The college is blessed to have a scientist of Jay’s caliber.”

Gatlin’s work is focused in the area of biomechanics of cell division and the cell biology of cancer. 

Gatlin joined UW in 2010. 

In 2012, he received two NIH grants totaling more than $1.6 million. 

In 2013, he received a research award from the Marine Biological Laboratory. The grant paid for Gatlin and doctoral student James Hazel to conduct research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute laboratories in Massachusetts. 

Last November, Gatlin and his laboratory published a paper in Science – the most prestigious scientific journal in the United States.

“Although these remarkable accomplishments should command the utmost respect, Jay doesn’t let them influence his attitude and demeanor,” said Hess. “He is the same kind, likable person everyone has come to know.”

Other award nominees were Anowar Islam and Urszula Norton, who are assistant professors in the Department of Plant Sciences.

During the evening, UW President Dick McGinity also spoke to the audience, acknowledging the importance of the land-grant university’s mission to boost the state’s economy and general well-being of its citizens.

Hess further noted that recognizing researchers from the college is important because it helps the university community understand the scope of their work.

Prior to the introduction of the AES Research Awards and Appreciation Banquet, individual scientific societies were assumed to reward and recognize the college’s researchers for their accomplishments. 

“I think it is important for the college to recognize its researchers and describe their accomplishments,” Hess said. “It is also important for others in the university community to gain an understanding of the tremendous work being accomplished.”

Though the award wasn’t given this year, AES also recognize the college’s Outstanding Researcher, who is someone with an outstanding record of research throughout their long-term career.

In addition to the awards ceremony, Hess commented, “The banquet is an important appreciation event in which we recognize the contributions of all those in attendance to AES activities and programs throughout the year.”

This article was compiled by Saige Albert, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, from press releases by UW Extension. Photos are courtesy of the University of Wyoming.

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