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The award that Penny Anders just received honors the memory of Dr. D. Gordon Sharp, a former Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC. During his career, Dr. Sharp was widely recognized for his innovation, his curiosity and the breadth of his thinking. He was a pioneer in both electron microscopy and high-speed centrifugation that he used to elucidate the nature of viruses. He was generous with his time and trained many graduate students, letting them discover the joy of discovery. The awards committee selects among nominees who have exhibited exceptional creativity, perseverance, ability to see and ask big picture questions, and the independent drive to seek out (or develop) the best technologies/models to answer these questions. In addition to an emphasis on innovation and scholarship, the nominees have a commitment to sharing knowledge and mentoring.

Our thanks to M&I alumnus J. David Gangemi (PhD 1973) and to former M&I Professor Gail Wertz for their donations to establish and continue this award. If you like the idea of the Sharp Graduate Innovator Award and wish to support its continuation, follow these instructions for donating online:

Navigate to

Press “Please select a School/Unit/Program” and choose “School of Medicine”

Press “Please select a Fund” and choose “D. Gordon Sharp Award”

You can use a credit card and you will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation. Thank you!