Highland News Leader

Highland student honored for master’s thesis in chemistry

Assistant professor of chemistry Stephen Johnson and Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award winner Hillary Rikli of Highland pose for a picture at a reception at the University of Illinois Springfield on Feb. 8.
Assistant professor of chemistry Stephen Johnson and Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award winner Hillary Rikli of Highland pose for a picture at a reception at the University of Illinois Springfield on Feb. 8. Courtesy photo

The University of Illinois Springfield Research Board has awarded former biology graduate student Hillary Rikli with the UIS Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Rikli’s thesis was entitled “The Electrophysiological Effects of Poneratoxin (PoTx) and Two Novel, Structurally-Similar Analogs on the Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Nav1.7.” Her thesis chair was Stephen Johnson, UIS assistant professor of chemistry.

Rikli grew up in Highland and majored in chemistry as an undergraduate student at UIS. Following graduation in 2012, she continued her education as a graduate student in biology. She earned her master’s degree in 2015.

She now teaches at UIS as an adjunct professor of chemistry and is continuing her research with Professor Johnson. The two are currently working to acquire preliminary data for the submission of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award in the spring of 2016.

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