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The winner of the 2021 Manire Award was Kenneth (Kenny) H. Dinnon III (Baric lab).  Dinnon’s began his graduate research studying Zika virus, Dengue virus, MERS, and the antiviral drug, remdesivir. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In response, Dinnon created a mouse model for SAR-CoV-2 infection that was used to investigate disease progression and treatments.

The G. Philip Manire Award, established in 2004, is given annually in memory of Dr. Manire, recognizing his dedication to the University of North Carolina and to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, as well as his love of graduate education and research. Dr. Manire was an active member of the UNC Faculty from 1950 until his retirement in 1989.  During his illustrious career at UNC Chapel Hill, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences (1965-66), Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (1966-79), and Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Graduate School (1979-86). An award of $1,000 is given to an outstanding MCRO graduate student who is judged to have carried out the most significant and impressive research project during his or her career at UNC.

Dinnon’s research has been published in several prestigious journals including Nature, Cell, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academies of Science of the U.S.A. As a graduate student, he produced five co-first author research publications and was a contributing author on 26 others. Dinnon is now working on his postdoctoral training in the lab of Nobel Laureate Charlie Rice at Rockefeller University.