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2008.04.09 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Student Receives National Research Award

Omaha - A University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) psychobiology graduate student has received a prestigious fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Adam S. Smith, a first-year graduate student, received word from NSF on April 1 that he had been selected as a Graduate Research Fellow.

The three-year fellowship will provide Smith with a $30,000 annual stipend, and includes $10,500 per year to cover tuition.

The focus of Smith’s research is on the neurobiology of social behavior. He works with marmoset monkeys, squirrel-sized primates from Brazil. These monkeys are monogamous, and form long-term “pair-bonds” between adult males and females.

Smith is evaluating the role of the neurohormone oxytocin in regulating the establishment and maintenance of social pair bonds in marmosets. Smith’s research is conducted in UNO’s Callitrichid Research Center, a facility dedicated to the noninvasive study of marmoset and tamarin monkey breeding and social behavior.

Smith's advisor, Jeffrey French, professor of psychology, said that competition for the fellowships “is extremely steep for this prestigious award.” A survey of the other awardee institutions reveals that Harvard, MIT, CalTech, Stanford, Chicago, UC Berkeley, and Duke are prominent in the fellowship list.

“I'm so proud that Adam's work has put UNO in the company of these distinguished institutions,” Dr. French said.

Smith’s fellowship was the only one awarded to a Nebraska graduate student in any of the fields supported by the National Science Foundation, and one of only 26 awards given nationwide to research in the neurosciences. The award is a recognition of Smith’s background and training, of the quality of his research and of the growing reputation for research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

* * *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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