Young Alumni Award (Est. 2020)
The Young Alumni Award is bestowed upon alumni by the University of Illinois Alumni Association on behalf of the University of Illinois. This award recognizes alumni who are under the age of 35, and who have emerged as early leaders in their respective professional or civic endeavors. These individuals have demonstrated leadership and innovation and have proven themselves to be exceptional ambassadors for the University’s recent graduate and young alumni communities.
Arshan Nasir, MS ’12 ACES, PHD ’15 GC
This year’s recipient of the Young Alumni Award is Arshan Nasir, MS ’12 ACES, PHD ’15 GC. Arshan is a globally recognized leader in the conceptually and technically challenging field of virus evolution. His groundbreaking research on viral origins and evolution has generated more than 15 first-author publications and been featured on the BBC and in National Geographic, Popular Science and Scientific American. Named a distinguished Oppenheimer Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2019, Nasir focused his research on infectious diseases, specifically the evolution of HIV. Most recently as a senior scientist at the biotechnology company Moderna, he applied his bioinformatics skills to help develop a COVID-19 booster shot tailored for the Omicron variant.
Markita Landry, PHD ’12 LAS