Francis H. Straus Mentorship Awards

The Francis H. Straus Mentorship Award honors the memory of Dr. Francis H. Straus II, MD ’57, SM ’64 as a mentor of students, residents, and fellows during his many years as a member of our faculty in the department of Pathology.

In 2016, the Biological Sciences Division received a gift to support the creation of a new faculty award for mentorship. The Francis H. Straus Mentorship Award honors the memory of Dr. Francis H. Straus II, MD ’57, SM ’64 as a mentor of students, residents, and fellows during his many years as a member of our faculty in the department of Pathology.

The nomination deadline has passed. Awards will be announced in June 2021.


Nominating a Faculty Member
Each year, two awards may be given to BSD faculty: one to a clinical faculty member and one to a non-clinical faculty member (PhD faculty in clinical departments and basic departments).  Click here for a list of BSD clinical and basic science departments. 

  • Nominations are accepted from alumni who have either graduated or completed a residency or fellowship program more than three years ago (in this cycle, only those who received a terminal degree from the BSD or completed their training program in 2017 or before can participate).  This provides an opportunity to reflect back on your time at the University of Chicago and to consider a faculty member who has had a longstanding impact on your career path and served as an important mentor for you.
  • The nominee must be a current member of the employed (non-voluntary) faculty at the University of Chicago and hold their primary appointment in a BSD department.
  • The mentoring relationship will have had to begin while both the student/post-graduate trainee and the faculty member were on campus.
  • Current elected members of the Faculty Advisory Committee are ineligible  click here to view members
  • Award recipients, as well as their Departments, receive a cash prize.

Dr. Francis H. Straus II, MD ’57, SM ’64

About Dr. Francis H. Straus

Over the course of his 40 year career at the University of Chicago, Francis H. Straus, who died in 2014 at 81, left his mark as a surgical pathologist, researcher, teacher and mentor in the department of Pathology.

An expert in endocrine pathology, Dr. Straus made numerous important contributions to the field including identifying the pathological basis of male infertility and conducting research on a team that identified the cause of a local spike in Thyroid cancer as being radiation-induced.

Although his contributions to research and patient care were important, Dr. Straus considered himself first and foremost to be an educator and mentor to trainees in the department of Pathology and students in the Pritzker School of Medicine. His contributions were significant, both inside and outside the classroom. Between 1971 and 1989, he was recognized by fourth year Pritzker students with a teaching award over 15 times.

His passion for the intellectual development of his students was just as important to him as offering encouragement and support to his students throughout the course of their training. His work could be deeply impactful, helping students identify their own skills and pursue areas that suit their interests.  His substantial and long lasting impact on those he trained was widely felt.  His wife Lorna P. Straus, LAB ’49, SM’60, PHD ’62 is professor emerita of the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and herself a celebrated teacher.

Lorna, together with their son Christopher Straus, LAB’84, AB ’88, MD’92, sought to create this award as an opportunity to formally recognize the kind of longstanding and impactful mentorship exemplified by Francis Straus, in both basic science and clinical settings.

Francis H. Straus Mentorship Award Winners: 

  • Anita Chong, PhD, Surgery (Transplant) (2021)
  • Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, Radiation and Cellular Oncology (2021)
  • Stacie Levine MD, Professor of Medicine (2020)
  • Anne Sperling, PhD, Professor of Medicine (2020)
  • Vineet Arora, MD, Professor of Medicine (2019)
  • Stephen J. Kron, MD, PhD, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology (2019)
  • John Alverdy, MD, Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professor of Surgery (2018)
  • Catherine Pfister, PhDProfessor of Ecology and Evolution (2018)
  • Matthew Brady, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine (2017)
  • John Kress, MD, Professor of Medicine (2017)