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Furth Awards

Each year, the Office of the Provost recognizes promising early career natural and biological scientists at the University with an award from the Valerie and Frank Furth Fund.

This year’s recipients are Matthew McGraw, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics’ Pulmonary Division, and Tolulope (Tolu) Olugboji, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

McGraw’s primary goal as a pediatric pulmonologist is the prevention of early lung function decline in children. His research focuses on the pathogenic mechanisms associated with lung injury, particularly those induced by environmental toxicants such as those found in electronic cigarettes, within the context of bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare but devastating respiratory disease with a very high rate of morbidity.

“Since joining URMC, Matt has rapidly established a fully functional and productive molecular and cell biology research laboratory, and has generated substantial external funding for his research,” says Patrick Brophy, the William Eilinger Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

Olugboji is developing a new computational geophysics and seismology group to investigate questions related to earth quakes and other movements in the Earth’s lithosphere. His group uses recordings of ground vibrations from seismic sensors across the globe combined with advances in high-performance computing and machine learning for high-resolution subsurface Earth imaging and improved earthquake detection with sparse seismic networks.

“Tolu’s group is developing high-performance computational assets and capabilities, and currently operates a low-cost, broadband ground vibration detector network that it intends to use for field research on the western African continent,” says John Kessler, professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Services.