The Joseph and Josephine Rabinowitz Award for Excellence in Research was designed to help Penn Dental Medicine faculty undertake pilot projects that will enable them to successfully apply for extramural sources of funding. Designed through the lens of a researcher, this ongoing grant evaluates research proposals for their scholarly merit, creativity and innovation; the significance of the research in advancing scientific knowledge; the prospects for future extramural funding; the availability of alternate funding sources; and in the case of junior faculty, evidence that the applicant will be working as an independent investigator and forwarding of the School’s research objectives. It was under development as early as 1994 with the first award presented in 2002.
This award was endowed through the generosity of the late Dr. Joseph “Jose” Rabinowitz, an active member of the School’s biochemistry faculty for 29 years, and his wife, the late Dr. Josephine “Josy,” a fellow Penn alum. Josy’s PhD was in the field of education. Her strong endorsement of education and research provided a hand in the development of this grant. Jose was known for his research in lipid and steroid biochemistry, and made the seminal discovery that HMG CoA was a key intermediate in cholesterol biosynthesis. His research helped lead to the development of the important class of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.
The Rabinowitz family continues to support the values and priorities of this award. The 2023 recipients are announced on Research Day 2023 prior to the Joseph L. Rabinowitz Memorial Lecture.