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URMC / Biochemistry & Biophysics / Awards / Wallace O. Fenn Award

Wallace O. Fenn Award

Dr. Wallace Fenn was a Professor of Physiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry from 1924 to 1961. He served as the Chairperson of the Department of Physiology from 1924 to 1959 and thereafter until his death in 1971, he was appointed by the University to the position of Distinguished University Professor of Physiology. As well, Dr. Fenn served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies from 1957 to 1959.

His early scientific work dealt mostly with muscle physiology. In the 1930s his interests attracted him to the problems of potassium metabolism and electrolyte physiology. In the 1940s, the war effort led him to work in respiratory physiology. He later laid much of the groundwork for the physiology of space, while at the same time completed the editing of the two massive volumes on respiration of the Handbook of Physiology.

During his scientific lifetime, Dr. Fenn worked in many areas of physiology and every one of these areas has been different because he contributed to it. The scientific community recognized him as the Dean of American Physiologists and honors and scientific awards came to him in abundance, both from this country and abroad.

But also during his lifetime, he touched the lives of many people who worked with him as students or associates. Many of them have expressed their gratitude for a privileged period of time in their lives working with a man whose example of scientific integrity guided their own work in whatever field they choose.

The Wallace O. Fenn Award is given annually to a graduating student judged to have performed especially meritorious research and who presented a Ph.D. thesis suitable to honor the name of Dr. Fenn.

Award Recipients

  • 1991 - Biochemistry - Cheng-Ming Chiang
  • 1992 - Biophysics - Eric S. Bennett
  • 1993 - Biophysics - F. Temple Burling
  • 1994 - Biochemistry - Faheem Sandu
  • 1997 - Genetics - Matthew Robinson
  • 1998 - Biochemistry - Richard Murante
  • 1999 - Biophysics - Matthew Rasband
  • 2001 - Biochemistry - Michele Wisniewski
  • 2003 - Biochemistry - Sayura Aoyagi
  • 2009 - Biophysics - Zhi Lu
  • 2013 - Biochemistry - Chenguang Gong
  • 2013 - Biophysics - Paul Black
  • 2016 - Biophysics - Dejun Lin