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U Pharmacy College Faculty Member One of 56 Researchers Honored with Presidential Early Career Award

Yihua (Bruce) Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, has received the U.S. government’s highest award for promising independent researchers in the early stages of a career.

A member of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Yu is one of 56 U.S. researchers who received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at a July 26 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Yu was cited for his “outstanding” research on developing biocompatible and soft biomaterials for use in drug delivery and tissue repair, and for advancing the understanding of the relationship between the structure and properties of biomaterials. The award also recognized Yu”s contributions to the professional development of other scientists and his efforts to increase diversity in pharmaceutical sciences.

John W. Mauger, Ph.D., dean of the pharmacy college said the award recognizes Yu as one of the nation’s elite scientists in his field.

“His research program addresses significant health-related problems that answer basic science questions, while also being applicable to patient care,” Mauger said. “This award reflects his dedication to an academic career where he sets the highest standards for his students and himself.

The PECASE award was established in 1996. Each year, nine federal departments and agencies nominate scientists and engineers, whom they fund, for the award. The National Institutes of Health nominated Yu.

The award includes five years’ continued funding for Yu’s work.