Governor Northam announces 2018 Outstanding STEM award winners

Science Museum of VA STEM Awards. 3.1.2018 Photo: Rebecca D’Angelo for SMV

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Ralph Northam announced the 2018 Outstanding STEM award winners last month.

The governor, with help from the Chief Wonder Officer Richard Conti, presented the awards to the recipients during a ceremony at the Science Museum of Virginia March 1st.

Some of the work being done by the winners is happening right here in Richmond.

Work from these scientists includes research with chronic liver disease, new chemicals for pharmaceutical drugs, software that analyzes the biological patterns of cancer, to environmental topics like wetland gardening, vertical indoor farming, and seagrass restoration.

Arun J. Sanyal is one of the recipients of the award that is currently the Education Core Director at Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Center for Clinical and Translational Research and a professor in the gastroenterology division at VCU’s School of Medicine. Dr. Sanyal is a pioneer in identifying ways to manage nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH) and metabolic syndrome. He is also a leader in clinical research related to cirrhosis with end-stage liver disease.

Dr. M. Samy el-Shall, VCU professor and chemistry chair, is an internationally renowned scientist who is known for his work in the nanoscience field, which, in part, helps develop the production of new chemicals for pharmaceutical drugs.

For a full list of the award recipients, as well as their accomplishments, visit

Click here for a video where Governor Northam speaks on the importance of science in Virginia!

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