Distinguished Dissertation Award winners named

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Lauren Austin ’18 Ph.D. and Amanda Burmeister are the 2019 recipients of the Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Awards, presented by the UNC Charlotte Graduate School to recognize outstanding research and scholarship by a doctoral student.

Austin’s work, “Afraid to Breathe: Understanding North Carolina's Experience of the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic at the State, Local, and Individual Levels” was the first study of its kind to examine the affect the epidemic had on North Carolina people at the state, local and individual levels and compares the local experience with that of other affected regions of the United States. 

Burmeister is studying “Detrimental Brain Inflammation and the Role of the Interleukin 10 Family Members” to better understand how brain cells respond to invading pathogens and identify the roles of chemical mediators generated when that happens.

Austin and Burmeister will be entered in a national dissertation competition at the Council of Graduate Schools. That competition features a $2,000 honorarium.