Bacteria Research Gets Lift from Jess Hay Award

Doctoral student Konrad Mueller has received support to advance his research in molecular and cell biology through the Jess Hay Endowment for Chancellor’s Graduate Student Research Fellowships.

The $10,000 fellowship from the UT System will support Mueller’s investigations into the mechanisms by which bacteria modulate their functions to interact with other organisms.

The research could provide insight into concerted behavior similarly observed in many pathogenic bacteria when initiating infection and disease.

Mueller said he is pleased to receive the additional resources needed to further his work.

“Receiving this fellowship feels both extremely flattering and motivating,” he said. “This is an enormous honor and certainly helps my sense of confidence in a field where the often-inching rate of discovery can be quite discouraging.”

Jess Hay served two terms on the UT System Board of Regents from 1977 to 1989 and was chairman of the board from 1985 to 1987. He has been hailed as a visionary leader and extraordinary advocate for the universities and medical schools within the system.

Hay established the fellowship to tie graduate education to high-quality research benefiting the state of Texas. The two annual endowments rotate among UT institutions, supporting both an academic and health institution each year.

Dr. Austin Cunningham, dean of graduate studies at UT Dallas, consulted with the Graduate Council and nominated Mueller for the honor. Provost Hobson Wildenthal presented him with the fellowship July 30.

Mueller previously earned his undergraduate degree in molecular and cell biology at UT Dallas. Dr. Juan González, professor of molecular and cell biology, is Mueller’s primary faculty research adviser.

Konrad Mueller is studying how bacteria can modulate their functions to interact with other organisms.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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