Department of PhysiologyGraduate Student Awards

The Department of Physiology currently provides two awards for outstanding graduate students: the J. Paul Quigley Memorial Scholarship, and the Dorothy K. and Daniel L. Gerwin Graduate Scholarship.

J. Paul Quigley Memorial Scholarship

The J. Paul Quigley Memorial Scholarship was officially started in 1993. However, the origin of this award date back many years before 1993. Dr. Lester Van Middlesworth has provided us with the following historical background which culminated in the department's ability to offer this award.

In 1947 Lester VanMiddlesworth, received the Ph.D. from the Dept. Physiology, Manhattan Project, University California, Berkeley, and was hired as an instructor at the University Tennessee, Memphis, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology by Chairman Dr. John Paul Quigley with the arrangement to teach half time and attend medical school half time.

VanMiddlesworth, Ph.D received the M.D. in 1951, and Dr. Quigley hired him as a full time professor.

In 1962 Dr. Quigley obtained for Dr. VanMiddlesworth a Career Research Award from Nat. Inst. of Health, to continue throughout a career of the investigator.

In 1967 the University of Tennessee Alumni Association awarded L. VanMiddlesworth, Ph.D., M.D. a monetary fund of $500.00, as a teaching award. In gratitude to Dr. Quigley, VanMiddlesworth made arrangements for the funds to be invested for 10 years, after which the earnings would be used as the J. P. Quigley Award of $50.00 to the most outstanding graduating medical student at the end of each Physiology course.

Following the death of Dr. Quigley in 1976, his widow, Joyce Quigley, supplemented the Quigley Award with a $50,000.00 financial increment. She stipulated to the committee appointed to manage the program that the selected recipient is to be an outstanding GRADUATE STUDENT at the end of the student’s program. The award is an annual award to an outstanding University of Tennessee graduate student, completing the Ph.D. requirements in the Department of Physiology and is termed “The J. P. Quigley Award”.


The Quigley fellowship will be awarded to the student working in the lab of a faculty member with a primary appointment in the Dept. of Physiology who has the highest GPA in the core courses required by the Integrated Program in Biomedical Sciences. This fellowship is designed to be awarded to a student entering their third year of study in the Ph.D. program.

Dorothy K. and Daniel L. Gerwin Graduate Scholarship

The Dorothy K. and Daniel L. Gerwin Graduate Scholarship was officially started in 1991. Longtime Memphis residents Dan and Dorothy Gerwin have been great benefactors to the university and in particular to our department. Their philanthropy includes the Thomas A. Gerwin endowed Chair in Physiology, and major contributions to renovations to Physiology space in the Nash Building.


The Physiology Department Gerwin Fellowship will be awarded to the top senior graduate student who is working towards their Ph.D. in the laboratory of a faculty member whose primary appointment is in the Department of Physiology.

Degrees of Honor and/or Special Recognition

On rare occasions, we have members of our Physiology Family who receive special degrees earned through dedication to their profession, diligent untiring work, and exceptional scholarship. The stories behind these individual accomplishments function as guide-post both today and tomorrow for our students and fellows. The link provided to Degrees of Honor, and the unique individuals this information portrays describes the highlights of the professional scientific history of these individuals and their accomplishments.