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University of Utah Health Biochemistry Professors Receive NIH MERIT Awards

A pair of professors in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine are recipients of MERIT awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The prestigious awards are given to research scientists who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity, have outstanding records of scientific achievement, and are actively working in research areas of special importance or promise.

Minna Roh-Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry, is a first-time MERIT award recipient. Her MERIT award research investigates the role that cellular organelles called mitochondria may have in cancer metastasis. Her 7-year award is funded by the National Cancer Institute and provides support through 2028.

Wesley Sundquist, Ph.D., professor and chair of biochemistry, received a MERIT extension award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases (NIAID). A previous MERIT award recipient, Sundquist was granted the extension based on his progress over the past five years. As a result, the extension will provide him with a total of 10 years of MERIT award support for his research into the cellular, molecular and structural biology of HIV and other retroviruses. The award extension will support Sundquist's research efforts from 2022 through 2027.