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School of Medicine Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center
School of Medicine profiles

September 26, 2011

Sarah Norton

Sarah Norton

Ph.D. candidate
Coleman Award Winner

The Mary P. Coleman Award in Microbiology was established with a $10,000 bequest from the mother of Phil Coleman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology. Two students received the prize this year, one of whom is Sarah Norton, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Daniel Conrad, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology. Norton has been investigating a truly novel way to treat asthma, using tiny carbon buckeyballs. The high-tech molecule is being developed by a Virginia company called Luna Innovations, and Norton was responsible for testing its therapeutic and potential side effects in a mouse model of asthma. Norton received an American Heart Association award to fund her research efforts.

The Coleman Award is meaningful to Norton. “In science, there’s a lot of rejection,” she says. “So it’s nice to be recognized.”

Conrad takes it one step further. “An award like that indicates your work is being very well received by the scientific community,” he says, and that kind of recognition will only help Norton get a good postdoctoral position.