Postdoctoral Research Support

Sara and Frank McKnight Fellowships

In 2001, donations from various sources helped establish an endowment in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Frank McKnight, the parents of Steven McKnight, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Biochemistry.

This endowment allows the annual investment of roughly $300,000 in support of research conducted by young scientists, including support for young postdoctoral fellows who choose to conduct independent research within the Department of Biochemistry. McKnight fellows are provided funds for a three-year period to cover their own salary, that of a technician, and the expenses necessary for their lab research. 

This program is modeled after an independent fellows program at the Department of Embryology of the Carnegie Institution of Washington where Dr. McKnight was able to receive the opportunity for early independence in the late 1970s.

Past fellows in this program include:

  • Jared Rutter, Ph.D., who is now an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Utah
  • Charles Dann, Ph.D., who is now an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Indiana
  • Trey (John) Fondon, Ph.D., who is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington
  • Benjamin Tu, Ph.D., who is now an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry here at UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Ryan Potts, Ph.D., who is now an Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology here at UT Southwestern

The program is currently supporting Randal Halfmann, Ph.D.