Passion and Aptitude

PhD student Rebeca Stiepel is the 2022 recipient of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Kathryne A. Brewington Graduate Research Award.

The school presents the award annually to the most outstanding doctoral student in pharmaceutical sciences in honor of Kathryne Brewington, who passed away while pursuing her doctoral degree at the school.

The award is supported by the Kathryne Brewington Memorial Fund established by Kathryne’s father, Thomas Brewington, and held at the Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina. The winner receives a plaque and a $1,500 grant that can be used to fund research, develop new research skills or present dissertation work.

Stiepel studies in the school’s division of pharmacoengineering and molecular pharmaceutics under advisor Kristy Ainslie, PhD. Her graduate research focuses on developing an antigen-specific treatment for autoimmune disorders. She is currently working on a “tolerogenic vaccine” for multiple sclerosis.

“From when Rebeca first started in my lab as a SOLAR undergraduate student, it was clear that she had an outstanding passion and aptitude for research, particularly in pharmaceutical sciences,” Ainslie said. “As she began to pursue a Ph.D. in my lab, that effort has only blossomed and she has been able to accomplish so much, including several first author publications and awards for poster presentations. It’s an honor to have one of my students receive the Kathryne A. Brewington Graduate Research Award.”

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