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Duquesne Garners its First NIH Graduate Fellowship for Research Service

The first graduate student from Duquesne University has landed a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Fourth-year biology doctoral student Kate Sadler received an F31 Kirschstein National Research Service Award from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NIH. Sadler works in the lab of Dr. Benedict Kolber, assistant professor of biological sciences, on the brain's role in modulating bladder pain. The goal of the project is to discover novel mechanisms of bladder pain and new treatment options for patients with this condition.

"Kate winning this award is direct evidence that the teacher-scholar model in place in the Bayer School and at Duquesne really works," said Dr. Philip Reeder, dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. "The quality and dedication of our students and faculty makes Bayer School students nationally competitive for this and other prestigious awards."

The award, $37,975 a year for three years, memorializes Dr. Ruth L. Kirschstein, the first female director of an NIH institute, a polio vaccine developer, a champion of research training and an advocate for including underrepresented individuals in the sciences. This highly competitive and elite award is presented to less than 10 percent of all applicants, Kolber said. It will offer financial support to Sadler while she conducts her dissertation research in the Kolber lab.

"Kate is an outstanding experimentalist," Kolber said. "This award involved the development of a novel research proposal and a unique graduate training plan. The award represents an important first step in a successful career for Kate."

Sadler, a native of Greensburg who graduated with a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg, anticipates graduating from Duquesne in 2016 and aspires to be a professor actively involved with undergraduate teaching and research.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.