BMC Faculty Josh Coon and Melissa Harrison honored with 5-year UW awards

BMC faculty members Dr. Joshua Coon and Dr. Melissa Harrison were among the 2020-2021 winners of prestigious UW-Madison awards in recognition of significant achievement and strong trajectories in their respective careers. Dr. Coon received the Kellett Mid-Career Award and Dr. Harrison the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship. Both awards recognize the quality, significance, and productivity of the honoree’s research, as well as the quality and programmatic value of their teaching and service. Support for these awards is provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).


Joshua Coon is a Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry and Chemistry and the Thomas and Margaret Pyle Chair at the Morgridge Institute for Research. His research centers on the development of chemical instruments and methods to study protein structure, regulation and function. The Coon Labs use these technologies to research a wide range of organisms, with implications for bioenergy, human health, and other areas. The Kellett Award provides support to those who are seven to 20 years past their first promotion to a tenured position, and will provide Dr. Coon with $75,000 in flexible research funds over the course of five years.


Melissa Harrison is an Associate Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry. Her research focuses on how information encoded in the genome is differentially interpreted during organismal development. Specifically, the Harrison Lab uses Drosophila melanogaster to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression and how changes in gene expression can drive cell identity. The Romnes Fellowship supports faculty who are within their first six years from promotion to a tenured position, and will provide $60,000 in flexible research funds over the course of five years.