Congratulations to Meng Li, a student of Dr. Barry Bruce, for having received the Bredesen Center First Step Award and the Bredesen Center Derek Austin High Impact Award.
Much like the Bredesen Center students of today, Dr. Derek Austin received his Ph.D. from UT in 2006 after performing his research work at ORNL in Mike Simpson’s Group. Derek was a pioneer of the prominent noise biology work to come out of this group — work that continues on today. Derek’s crowing research achievement resulted in a paper published in Nature that he first authored. Derek blazed a path that serves as an example of the core values of the Bredesen Center. He performed cutting edge interdisciplinary research that was published in top journals, but he also made entrepreneurship a part of his legacy by participating in the formation of two successful start-up companies. Although Derek ultimately lost his courageous battle against pancreatic cancer, his example lives on withing the Bredesen Center. The Derek Austin High Impact Award honors the Bredesen Center students that follow Derek’s example and publish their research results in prominent scientific journals.