WRITER: MARTI TIEDEMAN
CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 13, 2000
(Note to broadcasters: Sanxay is pronounced SANK-say)
UI awards Sanxay Prize for graduate study to Ali Jalali
IOWA CITY, Iowa -University of Iowa senior chemistry major Ali Jalali
is the recipient of the 2000 Sanxay Prize, which the UI Graduate College awards
annually to a senior from Iowa who shows promise of high achievement in graduate
studies. Jalali, an Iowa City resident, has been accepted into the M.D./Ph.D.
programs at the UI and Northwestern University. He currently awaits responses
from Harvard and Yale.
Interested in becoming a physician-scientist with an academic position in
a university-hospital environment, Jalali has been working on two biomedical/biochemical
research projects since his entrance into the university in 1996. One project
involves molecular computational analysis of a hydrogen bond system that models
the active site of a serine protease enzyme. Jalali will write his honors
thesis based on the study's research findings.
"I have always been interested in the science behind medicine because
scientific research is both challenging and rewarding," Jalali said.
"The sense of gratification is greatly enhanced if one's scientific discovery
results in saving or improving the quality of people's lives."
While maintaining a 4.23 GPA, Jalali has worked in a neurophysiology laboratory
in the department of internal medicine and has published numerous articles
based on this research and his chemistry research. He has been a UI tutor
since 1997 and an undergraduate teaching assistant in the department of chemistry
since the fall of 1998. Jalali is currently president of the UI Persian Student
Organization, which is active in many community and cultural events.
"In my estimation, Ali is the best in a group of more than 2,000 premedical
students that I have taught during my 17 years at Iowa," said Daniel
Quinn, professor and chair in the UI department of chemistry and Jalali's
undergraduate research mentor. "But Ali is more than an excellent student.
He is a genuinely warm and caring individual who will one day make an outstanding
physician and scholar."
The Sanxay Prize, first awarded in 1926, is made possible by the trust fund
of Theodore F. Sanxay. The award carries a cash stipend of $1,000 that may
be used to pursue graduate work at the UI or any other accredited university
in the United States or abroad.