University of the Sciences awarded Eleonora Gianti the Student Merit Award during the University’s Founders’ Day celebration on Feb. 23, 2012. A student who represents the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the University’s founders receives the award each year. The recipient also engages in research or some form of scholarly pursuit that results in new developments or discoveries.
(Eleonora Gianti with Dean of Students Dr. BJ Cunningham)
“I have rarely encountered a graduate student with her keen intelligence, intellectual curiosity, and drive,” said Randy Zauhar, PhD, associate professor of chemistry and Eleonora’s PhD advisor. “We are nonetheless astonished by her capabilities. In addition to being an outstanding student and researcher, she has a bright and outgoing personality, possesses excellent communication skills, and is distinguished by a professional attitude unique among her peers,” he added.
Gianti, a PhD candidate in biochemistry, earned recognition for her thesis work which comprises three projects related to the development of cancer therapeutics. She has made impressive progress, applying state-of-the-art computational tools and working closely with her advisor and their collaborators.
In a national competition in 2011, Gianti won an American Chemical Society award in Computational Chemistry called the Peter Kollman Supercomputing award. She also won a chemistry & biochemistry department award at USciences for showcasing the best PhD project in 2011. She wrote three publications and has presented her research numerous times. Currently, a graduate student instructor at USciences, Gianti introduces innovative teaching approaches in a biochemistry course with approximately 300 students enrolled.
Gianti hails from Italy. She obtained her bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Universita’ degli Studi di Pavia in Pavia, Italy, and two additional master’s degrees from University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy.