Urbana, Ill. Supriya G. Prasanth, professor and head of the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology in the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, has been chosen as a University Scholar. The University Scholars Program, established in 1985, aims to support outstanding University of Illinois faculty members and reward them for their academic excellence with funding for further research.

Her research interests include genome duplication, chromatin structure, and protein-nucleic acid interactions. Through researching molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, she provides insights into how genetic instability contributes to cancer progression. She and her research group have made unprecedented advances in studying DNA replication, heterochromatin organization, and cell proliferation. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, including an NSF CAREER Award.

“Thank you to UIUC for this recognition. I am truly honored,” Prasanth said. “This couldn’t have been possible without the relentless hard work of my students, postdocs, and the support system at CDB and the School of MCB. This recognition is both humbling and gratifying, and it is indeed a phenomenal case-in-point of our cohesiveness as a team striving to raise the bar. I look forward to leveraging these funds on new innovations in the field of DNA replication, repair, and chromatin organization,” she said.

Prasanth began her faculty career at Illinois 14 years ago and has since been celebrated for her teaching excellence and innovative research. In 2017, she was recognized with the Lynn M. Martin Award for Distinguished Women Teachers in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She created the class MCB 400: Cancer Biology and has taught the popular course since its beginning. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Research Excellence Award from the School of MCB. Additionally, she has mentored many MCB undergraduate research assistants in her laboratory.

She is also highly involved in service projects, chairing departmental committees such as the Graduate Student Recruitment Committee, Distinction Committee, Courses & Curriculum Committee, and Faculty Grant Mentoring Committee and serving on the Advisory Committee and the Faculty Search Committee within the School of MCB. In 2019, she received a Campus Distinguished Promotion Award.

– Written by Tara Leininger, MCB 

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