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New research prize honors memory of Jan Berry

Jan Berry


Ann Arbor, Mich., Dec. 2, 2016 -– A new award will be presented each year to a School of Dentistry researcher in memory of Jan Berry, a long-time staff member who was recognized for her love of science and enthusiastic support of her research colleagues.

The family of Berry, who died Feb. 4, 2016, has created the $1,000 award to recognize a full-time researcher who may be currently experiencing a financial hardship.  The applicant must have demonstrated excellence in research, teaching, mentoring, service and leadership.  The Janice E. Berry Prize for Excellence in Research will be presented annually in February at the Research Day awards ceremony.

Berry worked at the Medical School for 17 years and at the School of Dentistry for 21 years. Her last position before retiring at the end of 2014 was as a laboratory manager and research associate in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine. She worked in the labs of Dr. Laurie McCauley, dean of the School of Dentistry; Dr. Russell Taichman, associate dean for research; and Dr. Martha Somerman, a former faculty member and currently director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

“Jan Berry made a major impact on the careers of many individuals who have worked with her at the University of Michigan,” the School of Dentistry said in announcing the new award. “Jan was someone who was totally committed to excellence and possessed an excitement about science that was contagious to those around her. She showed extraordinary benevolence towards research trainees by helping them to find living accommodations, bringing home-cooked meals into the lab, and aiding non-English-speaking trainees in understanding some of the nuances of English grammar and usage to enhance their chances in obtaining grants or publishing their research.”

In February 2015, Berry was selected among 80 applicants from across the university as the recipient of U-M’s annual Candace Johnson Staff Award for Excellence.  Current and former faculty members and research scientists who nominated Berry described the many ways she helped them during their professional and research careers.

The application deadline for the inaugural Berry award is Jan. 15, 2017.  Contact the Office of Research and Training for application information by sending an email to: or visit Research Initiatives/Janice E. Berry Prize for Excellence in Research.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:
Sharon Grayden, Communications Director, at (734) 615-2600,, or Lynn Monson, Writer, at (734) 615-1971.