Meritorious Faculty Award

Nominate an Alumnus of Faculty Member graphic

The Meritorious Faculty Award is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in the areas of teaching and research. Nominees must have an appointment (full or partial) in the College of Natural Science. Recipients exemplify MSU’s commitment to the land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach through their dedication to professional, community and/or MSU service. The award includes a one-time stipend of $1000.

Anyone may submit a nomination.

The award is presented at the annual alumni awards held in conjunction with Classes Without Quizzes.

Nominations not selected to receive the award are held for three years and automatically re-nominated each year.

Questions? Please contact Sara Ford via email or (517) 884-0290.

2019 Meritorious Faculty Award

David P. Weliky, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry

David P. Weliky studies one of the most important and least understood events in enveloped virus infection—the process of membrane fusion. His work has led to a complete rethinking of the process, which will have a huge impact on human health.

Weliky’s research is primarily in the area of the development and application of novel solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) methods to study membrane protein structure—with a focus on HIV and influenza. His high level of scholarship has brought a maturity to the field that raises it to the level of what has become routine for X-ray crystallography.

An anti-HIV drug (Enfuvirtide) that targets membrane fusion is already in the clinic; Weliky’s work may be key to the development of other anti-viral therapies. Results from his research have been
published in many high-impact journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Chemical & Engineering News, Biochemistry, and the Journal of Molecular Biology.

Weliky has mentored 19 graduate students who are now faculty members at research-intensive institutions, or have taken leadership positions at companies such as Dow, Gilead, Pfizer, 3M, Amway and Shell Oil. In addition, he has been actively involved in teaching and designing new experiments for the senior-level physical chemistry laboratory course, and was responsible for the development of the two graduate-level courses in the biophysical chemistry curriculum.

He has served on more than 30 grant review panels, was an editorial board member for Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (2013 – 2018), and has reviewed hundreds of papers for most of the journals in the field. At MSU, he also served on more than two dozen college and university committees.

Weliky received his B.A. (high honors) in chemistry and physics from Swarthmore College in 1985, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1995. In 1998, he joined MSU’s
Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor. His awards include the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence in 1996 and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award in 1998.

Past Recipients

  • 1980 – Charles Sweeley, Biochemistry
  • 1981 – Leo Mericle, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1982 – Kyung Whan Kwun, Mathematics
  • 1983 – John Lockwood, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1984 – Fumio Matsumura, Pesticide Research Center
  • 1985 – Marvin Hensley, Zoology
  • 1986 – Alexander Tulinsky, Chemistry
  • 1987 – Everett Beneke, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1988 – Clarence Suelter, Biochemistry
  • 1989 – John Beaman, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1990 – Jerry Dodgson, Biochemistry
  • 1991 – James Hamilton, Chemistry
  • 1992 – Pamela Fraker, Biochemistry
  • 1993 – Howard Hagerman, Lyman Briggs School
  • 1994 – Hans Kende, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1995 – Emanuel Hackel, Zoology
  • 1996 – Jack Preiss, Biochemistry
  • 1997 – Glenda Lappan, Mathematics
  • 1998 – John E. Wilson, Biochemistry
  • 1999 – Julius Kovacs, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2000 – Robert Hausinger, Biochemistry/Microbiology
  • 2001 – Jerry Babcock, Chemistry
  • 2002 – Loren Snyder, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • 2003 – Susan Conrad, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • 2004 – Edwin Kashy, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2005 – G.J. (Mike) Karabatsos, Chemistry
  • 2006 – Jack Bass, Physics & Astronomy, George Bird, Entomology
  • 2007 – Ralph Taggart , Plant Biology & Geological Sciences
  • 2008 – Aureal Cross , Geological Sciences & Plant Biology
  • 2009 – James Stapleton, Statistics & Probability
  • 2010 – Julie Libarkin, Geological Sciences
  • 2011 – C. Robin Buell, Plant Biology
  • 2012 – Gary Westfall, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2013 – Robert Maleczka, Chemistry
  • 2014 - Steven Heidemann, Physiology
  • 2015 - Babak Borhan, Chemistry
  • 2016 - Edward Walker, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and Entomology
  • 2017 - Richard Hill, Integrative Biology
  • 2018 - L. Karl Olson, Department of Physiology