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Written by Sarah L. Minor

wayne duck wins dom star award 350x230Pictured Above (L to R): Ladonna Elliott, Dr. Qing Zhao, Wayne Duck, Dr. Doug Morgan, Shane Wiley, and Dr. Chuck Elson

The Department of Medicine is delighted to celebrate Lennard "Wayne" Duck, Scientist I, in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology as the inaugural winner of the DOM STAR Award for Staff Excellence.

With over 29 years experience in laboratory research at UAB, Wayne has truly made a lasting impression on his colleagues as not just a scientist, but also as a friend.

Wayne conducts research in the areas of molecular biology and microbiology. According to Dr. Chuck Elson, two recently awarded NIH grants can be directly attributed to Wayne's efforts, and "he will be essential for the successful completion of both of them."

From his multiple nominations, it is clear that Wayne is widely respected by faculty and staff alike. Dr. Craig Maynard stated, "Wayne is deserving of this award because he embodies several of our shared values at UAB: integrity, respect, collaboration, and excellence and achievement." When asked which shared values Wayne displayed, his colleagues commonly selected all seven of them.

wayne-duck dr-qing-zhao dr-katie-alexander dr-craig-maynardPictured L to R: Wayne Duck, Dr. Qing Zhao, Dr. Katie Alexander, and Dr. Craig MaynardIn addition to his exceptional expertise, Wayne is remarkably generous to teach and inspire those who work with him. Dr. Katie Alexander recalled that when she was a student, she would feel nervous about presenting negative data, Wayne would offer an encouraging "reality check." He would remind her that "data is data" and to be confident in her data no matter what the outcome. She shared, "Wayne does not hover, and he does not do things for you. Wayne teaches and bulids you up. He is a shining example of research integrity."

Dr. Qing Zhao has shared lab space with Wayne for over ten years, and she expressed her enthusiasm for nominating him. "He doesn't just make sure that his experiments are done right, but he also constantly provides new insights in how he thinks the project should move forward." He truly cares about helping others and advancing science. His provision of experimental data helped Dr. Zhao land a Career Development Award.

The DOM STAR (Significant Achievement & Recognition) Award for Staff Excellence program highlights the exceptional efforts of individuals working within the department. Nominees who best exemplify UAB's Shared Values (integrity, respect, diversity & inclusiveness, collaboration, excellence & achievement, stewardship, and accountability) are selected quarterly. Think of someone you know and nominate them for this award!