MSUToday
Published: Oct. 24, 2018

Kristin Parent named James K. Billman Jr., M.D. Endowed Research Professor

Contact(s): Val Osowski College of Natural Science office: (517) 432-4561 osowskiv@msu.edu

Assistant Professor Kristin Parent was installed as the first James K. Billman Jr., M.D. Endowed Research Professor in the MSU College of Natural Science Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

"The college and the university are very fortunate to have someone of Kristin’s standing to occupy this important position,” said Phillip M. Duxbury, dean of the College of Natural Science. “We are thrilled that Kristin has been recognized with this honor and look forward to great things.”

Parent conducts pioneering research using electron cryo-microscopy and 3D image reconstruction methods. She uses these cutting-edge technologies to better understand the underlying mechanisms that control virus infection and decipher the processes of virus assembly.

“As a first-generation college student, and a woman in STEM, science can often be challenging,” Parent said. “This award is a fantastic honor, and it feels amazing to be recognized by my colleagues. I wholeheartedly thank Dr. Billman for his kindness and generosity, both to me and MSU.”

Parent has earned several prestigious awards for her groundbreaking work, including the 2018 National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award, the 2017 American Society for Microbiology Young Investigator Award, and the 2015 AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences.

Erich Grotewold, BMB chair, said that in addition to being an outstanding scientist, Parent is a well-rounded professor.

“In addition to her scientific achievements, Kristin is an excellent and well-recognized mentor and teacher,” Grotewold said. “As a new department chair, I especially appreciate her leadership skill and ability to get things done and am pleased to be able to participate in conferring to Kristin this well-deserved honor.”

The investiture ceremony took place Oct. 22 at MSU’s Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. MSU Assistant Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Doug Gage, Duxbury, Grotewold and Billman Jr., were present at the ceremony.

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