South Grad Awarded Top Life Sciences Thesis

Posted on July 15, 2020
Marketing and Communications

The thesis of Valeria King, who earned a master’s degree in biology from the University of South Alabama in 2018, has been selected by Conference of Southern Graduate Schools as the Top Life Sciences Thesis for 2020. The award came with $1,000.

This is only the second time a student from South has won the prestigious award; the previous time was in 2004.

King’s mentor while she was a student at South was Dr. Glen Borchert, associate professor of pharmacology in the College of Medicine. While she worked in Borchert’s laboratory, King coauthored five scientific journal articles. Since leaving South, she has been enrolled as a Ph.D. student in the molecular and cellular biology program at the University of California Berkeley and involved in research elucidating novel features of one of the several carcinogenic viruses that infect humans: Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.

The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools is an organization of more than 200 graduate schools in 15 states in the southern region of the United States. The conference sponsors master’s thesis awards in two distinct disciplines annually. Graduate deans at member institutions may nominate one person per category (a total of two per institution) whose thesis has been accepted in partial fulfillment of master’s degree requirements during the past two academic years. Master’s thesis award winners are selected by faculty members in the field from member institutions on the basis of clarity of style and presentation, scholarship, research methodology and contributions to the field or discipline.

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