Dr. John M. McKibbin chaired the Department of Biochemistry from 1961 to 1982, and continued to serve as a professor in the department until 1986. 

Each year in May, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics hosts an annual competition for John M. McKibbin Outstanding Young Investigator Award. The purpose of the program is to recognize and reward graduate students who show outstanding promise for successful careers in research. These awards are given in honor of the many contributions made by the late John M. McKibbin, Professor and past chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at UAB.

McKibbin AwardCongratulations to Ruthie Jacobs: 2021 McKibbin Outstanding Young Investigator. The title of her presentation was:  “Uncovering the unique properties of the eukaryotic RNA polymerases.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we presented the 2021 McKibbin Outstanding Young Investigator award via Zoom. The presentation was a great success and the McKibbin family particpated with all of the students, staff and faculty of the Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Department. 

McKibbin Award 2019.2

Recent Award Recipients 
Ruthie Jacobs
"Uncovering the unique properties of the eukaryotic RNA polymerases"

Kelli Goggans
"Retinoids in the Hair Cycle"
Saman Maheen Najmi
"Nip it in the Bud: Mechanisms that regulate ribosome biogenesis." 
Audra Ann Hargett 
"HIV-1 Envelope N-glycan Network" 
Catherine Scull 
"Characterization of the enzymatic properties of Pol 1 trigger loop mutant rpa190-E1224G"

Picture1 Dr. John M. McKibbin teaching a biochemistry class.

McKibbin Award Timeline
1. Students training in BMG labs will submit their CVs for consideration by April 1st.
2. Finalists are chosen by the McKibbin Award Committee by April 15th.
3. Finalists will present their work to the committee and a winner will be selected during the 1st week of May.
4. The winner will present their work to the department and the McKibbin family at the annual reception on May 21st, 2020 at 4PM in the Finley Conference Room.

Who can apply for a McKibbin Fellowship?
All full-time pre-doctoral students entering their second year or later of graduate studies in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics qualify to compete for the award. Candidates may be either Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D. students. Winners are selected based on overall research strengths and scientific communication skills.

What does a McKibbin Fellow win?
Winners of the McKibbin Outstanding Young Investigator Award receive a cash prize of $1000 to support ongoing scholarship, such as books, journal subscriptions, computers, supplies or travel to a scientific meeting. Awardees also receive a personalized plaque and their names are engraved on the McKibbin Award display in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics conference room.