May 1, 2023

Distinguished Professor Richard Kuhn named 2023 winner of Morrill Award, Purdue’s highest honor


Structural biologist Richard J. Kuhn, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor in Science and Krenicki Family Director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease, has been named as Purdue's Morrill Award winner for 2023.

The Morrill Award is the highest honor that Purdue confers on a member of its faculty. It was initiated in 2012 to honor the Morrill Act of 1862, which allowed for the establishment of land-grant colleges and universities, and comes with a $30,000 prize.

Kuhn was selected based on the recommendations of a committee composed of distinguished members of the Purdue faculty. His nominator called him a “curve breaker” in each of Purdue’s mission areas.

“Richard is a tremendous intellectual asset to Purdue,” said Provost Patrick Wolfe. “Reflecting our strong spirit of university citizenship, he eagerly gave of his time and virology expertise to help us navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. As a distinguished scientist and a true team player, Richard exemplifies all that we stand for as a leading research land-grant university.”

Kuhn’s research interests span the replication, assembly and structure of RNA viruses with an emphasis on their interactions with the host and the diseases they cause. These viruses have become more widely recognized in recent years and include Zika, dengue, hepatitis C and SARS-CoV-2. Kuhn also conducts related research that seeks to identify new therapeutics and vaccines for disease intervention and prevention.

“I’m honored to be recognized for my efforts to advance the mission of Purdue and to contribute to global health,” Kuhn said. “It is such a high distinction to be selected by my colleagues for this special land-grant award, and this has been possible due to the dedication and hard work of my students and staff who have contributed to my success.”

Kuhn joined Purdue in 1992 as an assistant professor. He received his bachelor’s and Ph.D. from the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook.

Learn more about Kuhn’s career awards, honors and publications.

Kuhn and other award winners from 2023 will be recognized at the annual Faculty Awards Convocation on May 9.  

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