KU announces winners of Higuchi Awards for ‘scholarly excellence’

The University of Kansas this week announced the four recipients of the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards.

This year’s recipients:

• Nyla Branscombe, professor at KU’s department of psychology, winner of the Balfour S. Jeffrey Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

• Vara Prasad, professor in Kansas State University’s department of agronomy, winner of the Irvin E. Youngberg Award in Applied Sciences.

• Bharat Ratra, professor at K-State’s department of physics, winner of the Olin K. Petefish Award in Basic Sciences.

• Shirley ShiDu Yan, professor in KU’s department of pharmacology and toxicology, winner of the Dolph Simons Awards in the Biomedical Sciences.

The awards, given annually to recognize exceptional long-term research accomplishments of faculty at Kansas Board of Regents universities, is considered “the state’s most prestigious recognition for scholarly excellence,” according to KU’s news release.

This year marks the 36th annual presentation of the awards, established in 1981 by Takeru Higuchi, a KU distinguished professor from 1967 to 1983, and his wife, Aya. Each recipient receives a $10,000 award for his or her ongoing research efforts.

Recipients will be honored at a presentation ceremony, the date of which is to be announced. KU Chancellor Douglas Girod is set to speak at the ceremony, along with John Colombo, interim vice chancellor for research. Previous Higuchi Award recipients who attend will also be recognized, the news release said.