Two West Virginia University researchers in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences are recipients of the 2007 Benedum Distinguished Scholar Awards for their scientific and scholarly achievements.

This years Benedum Scholars are Jorge Flores, a professor in the Department of Biology, and Nancy Giles, a professor in the Department of Physics.

These two researchers have contributed greatly to the research mission of the University by performing outstanding work in their respective fields of biology and physics,said C.B. Wilson, associate provost for academic personnel.

The award recipients will each receive $5,000 and present individual lectures related to their fields in March and April. They will also be recognized at a special convocation at 7 p.m. Friday, April 20, in the Blue and Gold Ballrooms at the Mountainlair as part of WVU s Weekend of Honors. Both the lectures and convocation are free and open to the public.

The lecture schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, March 20 Jorge Flores,Practical Importance of Luteal Physiology Research at WVU ,4 p.m., Mountainlair Rhododendron Room
  • Tuesday, April 3 Nancy Giles,Role of Electrons, Excitons and Phonons in Ultraviolet Light Emission from Semiconductors,4 p.m., Mountainlair Rhododendron Room

Jorge Flores, a reproductive physiologist working in the area of female reproduction, was born in El Salvador. His training as a reproductive physiologist began at the University of El Salvador, with graduate training at New York University and George Washington University. He received additional training at Yeshiva University, held a post-doctoral position at Colorado State University and was on the research faculty at the University of Virginia.

Professor Flores joined the WVU Department of Biology in 1994.

He also has an adjunct appointment with the Division of Animal and Veterinary Sciences of the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences at WVU , where he has developed a productive collaboration with Dr. E. Keith Inskeep. He received the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award and WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2005.

His current work focuses on the cellular mechanisms utilized by the hormone prostaglandin F2alpha in shortening the life span of the endocrine gland, corpus luteum and the novel role that endothelin-1 plays in luteal physiology.

Nancy Giles is an experimental solid-state physicist working in the area of optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopy of point defects in semiconductors and optical materials.

A native of Raleigh, N.C., she earned a bachelors degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a doctorate from North Carolina State University (NCSU).

After a post-doctoral appointment at NCSU , she joined the WVU faculty in 1989. Professor Giles received the WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1998.

In addition, she has published over 150 refereed papers. Seven students have completed their doctoral research under her supervision.

Her research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA . Giles recently completed a sabbatical at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Her current work focuses on wide band-gap semiconductors with potential for use in ultraviolet light-emitting devices.

The Benedum and Distinguished Professors of WVU established the Benedum Distinguished Scholar Awards in 1985-1986 to honor and reward University faculty for excellence in research, scholarship or creative endeavors.

The awards recognize either a single recent achievement of note or a long, distinguished career that is still ongoing.

The program is funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and coordinated by WVU s Office of Academic Affairs and Research.