MSU Denver Alumnus Receives Prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Award

MSU Denver alum Evan Morrison, 3rd year Ph.D. Candidate at CU Anschutz Medical Campus, was recently awarded the prestigious Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. These fellowships recognize graduate students from historically excluded groups who are conducting outstanding research, and their advisors who are committed to creating an inclusive scientific environment.

Additionally, although Evan is only in his third year, he also has a funded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, he was awarded a National Institutes of Health T32 Training Fellowship in Molecular Biology, and is an author in six scientific publications. Evan graduated from MSU Denver in 2016 with degrees in Chemistry and Philosophy.

I met Evan when he was a student in Biochemistry Lab course and I was immediately impressed with the way he thought about science and consistently pushed to better himself. I asked him to both TA my future lab courses and to join my research lab. After working with him for less than a year, I asked him if he thought of going to graduate school and he immediately brushed off the idea because he did not think he was smart enough. To the contrary. After two years working in my lab, including a summer research fellowship through the RNA Bioscience Initiative at CU Anschutz, working as a professional research assistant at National Jewish Hospital, and a lot of conversations to help him recognize and be confidence in his brilliance, he applied to Ph.D. programs.

He is the Roadrunner we should be highlighting. Hard-working, overcoming so many obstacles in his life, helping so many other students along the way…and to achieve such great heights in his first few years of graduate school. I can’t wait to see what he discovers and how far he’ll run.