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Katherine Pryzwansky Young Investigator Award
Katherine B. Pryzwansky, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
The Katherine Pryzwansky Young Investigator Award was established in memory of Dr. Pryzwansky to support the career development of exceptional Molecular and Cellular Pathology graduate students. Kathy graduated from Penn State University in 1961, where she was one of the first women to receive an undergraduate degree from the Biochemistry Department. In 1978, Kathy earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Subsequently, Kathy conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado at Boulder and then returned to Chapel Hill to embark upon a faculty career of research, teaching, and administration. For part of her career she served as Scientific Director of Special Procedures Laboratory and Assistant Director of Special Stains in the Hematology Laboratory at UNC Hospitals. She retired from the UNC School of Medicine in 2002 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Kathy was most interested in immunology and the emerging science behind the specificity of human antibody production, and specifically the neutrophil. As an immunologist, cell biologist, and pathologist, Kathy contributed significantly to our understanding of the neutrophil and its role in health and disease. She was a pioneer in the area of signal transduction and conducted some of the first studies in the compartmentalized action of cyclic nucleotides within neutrophils. Kathy advanced high-voltage electron microscopy using unsectioned, whole-mounted cells in order to image complete three-dimensional cell ultrastructure. She made significant contributions in the study of how the neutrophil cytoskeleton impacted the cell's functions of chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and degranulation. Throughout her career, the quality of Kathy's work was evidenced by the prestigious nature of the journals in which she published and the sources of her external funding. Above all, she excelled as a mentor to graduate students and often reminded her students that one would be successful in science if you "do your own thing." In honor of her enjoyment and excellence in mentoring graduate students, the Katherine Pryzwanski Young Investigator Award was established with memorial funds following her death in 2011 at the age of 71. The award is used to facilitate the career development of exceptional Molecular and Cellular Pathology graduate students by funding travel to a scientific meeting in their field of study, or other career development activities.
Inaugural recipient of the Katherine Pryzwansky Young Investigator Award
2014 Katherine Pryzwanski Young Investigator