Stephen R. Phillips Award

Each year the Biomedical Graduate Student Association recognizes the accomplishments of graduate students in the School of Medicine. We are writing today to request nominations for the Stephen L. Phillips Scientific Achievement Award, given annually to a graduate student authoring the best paper published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The winner of this award receives $200, a plaque, as well as an extended length oral presentation of the work detailed in the manuscript. We look forward to receiving your nominations and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Stephen L. Phillips, PhD

Professor of Biochemistry University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Former Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.


Stephen L. Phillips, PhD is the former Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. He also served as Professor of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry in the School of Medicine beginning in 1970. Prior to his arrival at Pitt, he served as an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina from 1982-83. Dr. Phillips holds a M.S. in Biophysics from Penn State University and in 1968 he received a PhD in Biophysics. He pursued a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine from 1968- 70. He was welcomed to the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor. During his time at Pitt, Dr. Phillips was featured in several publications for his research regarding the study of human molecular genetics, membranes, and tumors.

As Associate Dean, every summer Dr. Phillips took graduate students whitewater rafting, steering his raft of students through the infamous Dimple Rock rapids. In his 35 years at the medical school, Dr. Phillips was known for his enthusiasm and as the calm in the storm. He knew how to connect with students. “Old fogies get used to thinking of things a certain way!” said Dr. Phillips. “We need the infusion of youth and high energy that keeps science current.” Dr. Phillips was determined to instill in students the proper “habit of mind” for a research career.

In 2004, the Best Student-Authored Publication awarded annually was named to honor his inspiration to aspiring scientists.

Congratulations to 2016 awardee Nicole Scharping!

Her paper, The Tumor Microenvironment Represses T Cell Mitochondrial Biogenesis to Drive Intratumoral T Cell Metabolic Insufficiency and Dysfunction, was published in Immunity.