Professor R. Gaurth Hansen

R. Gaurth Hansen was the founding Chairperson of the Department of Biochemistry at Michigan State University. In establishing this new department, Dr. Hansen brought together a core of faculty who, until their incorporation into the newly formed department, had held appointments in other basic science or agriculturally-related departments at Michigan State. Dr. Hansen also initiated an active recruiting program that brought many young scientists into their first academic appointments as junior faculty members in the fledgling department. In the ensuing years, the junior faculty members hired by Dr. Hansen matured into senior faculty whose leadership and contributions promoted the continued development of the department. Thus, this department owes much to the critical judgment and foresight with which Dr. Hansen selected the early members of this department, and to his solicitous attention to their continued development as teachers and investigators during his eleven year tenure (1957-1968) as Chairperson.

To honor the memory of Dr. R. Gaurth Hansen and to recognizing the importance that he attached to fostering the academic careers of young faculty members, THE R. GAURTH HANSEN LECTURE has been established to recognize outstanding young scientists who received their undergraduate or graduate training in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University and are now in the early stages of a promising academic career.

Recipients of the R. Gaurth Hansen award will have received their undergraduate research training, graduate research training, or graduate training leading to the Ph.D. in a program with which the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology faculty mentor is affiliated. Recipients will currently be within their first six years of a tenure track appointment (Assistant Professor or equivalent) at an established academic institution, or in the equivalent early stages of a career in a non-academic setting. In either case, the selected candidates will have a record of excellence in accomplishments thus far, and demonstrated qualities that provide a basis for expecting future outstanding performance in their chosen career.

The R. Gaurth Hansen Memorial Alumnus Awardee presents a seminar and is honored at the department's annual award's banquet in odd numbered years.