MCDB Prizes

The MCDB Undergraduate Program is excited to announce the following MCDB Class of 2021 Prize Winners!  They are (in no particular order):

Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

EDGAR J. BOELL PRIZE (1975). Colleagues, students and friends of Professor Boell. Awarded annually to a senior(s) for excellence in biology.

Edgar J. Boell Prize – for Excellence in Senior Research jointly to:



Research Title

Drew Galls

Anna Marie Pyle

Cell-Penetrating Peptides to Facilitate the Cellular Uptake of the RIG-I Agonist SLR14.

Kevin Li

Farren Isaacs

Development of a Platform for Tunable Spider Silk Properties via Characterization of Chimeric Spidroins and Nonstandard Amino Ac

Adrian Bebenek

Craig Crews

Development of a Small-Molecule Degrader of the Transcription Factor Brachyury

Emily Xu

Characterization of the Endocytic Mechanism and Intracellular Trafficking of Polymeric Nanoparticles

Hannah Melchinger

Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Anucleate Platelet

Grace Chen

Characterization of Antibody Responses to the Human Hookworm Parasites Necator Americanus and Ancylostoma Ceylanicum

Eric Wang

Aaron Ring

Discovreing Clinically Relevant Autoantibodies in Autoimmune Disease using Rapid Exoproteome Antigen Profiling

Karen Tai

Valentina Greco

Metabolic Responses to Oncogenic Mutations in the Mouse Epidermis

Anna Sun

Ronald Breaker

Riboswitch Discovery & Validation

Johanna Shen

Sidi Chen

Optimization of Molecular Tools for the Characterization and Treatment of the Immune System

Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyGeology and GeophysicsMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

WILLIAM R. BELKNAP (1872). William R. Belknap, Ph.D. 1869. Two awards in the natural history studies of senior year: one for excellence in biological studies, one for excellence in geological studies.

William R. Belknap Prize – for Academic Excellence in Biology jointly to:



MCDB Degree

Erica Lin

Timothy Dwight


Lukas Corey

Pauli Murray


Exceptional Distinction in the Major

The Yale College Faculty has approved this special award on the grounds that there would “occasionally be students whose work in the major is extraordinary, even when compared to the work of other students who receive Distinction.” It was assumed that “many departments, even the larger ones, might go for years without making such a nomination.” A candidate nominated by a department or program for the award of Exceptional Distinction in the Major must show a genuine breadth of scholarship in the field and have made significant original contributions to it.

Exceptional Distinction in the MCDB Major for 2021 is awarded to Eric Wang.


Research Mentor

Research Title

Eric Wang

Aaron Ring

Discovering Clinically Relevant Autoantibodies in Autoimmune Disease using Rapid Exoproteome Antigen Profiling

The John Addison Porter Prize has been awarded to Grace Chen!  This prize is given for a written work of scholarship in any field in which it is possible, through original effort, to gather and relate facts, principles, or both, and to make the product of general human interest.  The award was established in 1872 by the Kingsley Trust Association (The Scroll and Key Society) in honor of the late Professor Porter, who received a bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1842.

Congratulations to all our MCDB Prize Winners!