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John Keana Graduate Student Fellowship

Photo: John Keana

Professor John Keana

In 2017, in an extraordinary display of gratitude toward his former mentor, UO Chemistry alumnus Dennis Beetham and his wife, Janet, established the John Keana Graduate Student Fellowship Fund through a generous donation to the University of Oregon.

Mr. Beetham, one of Professor Keana’s former students, graduated with his master’s degree in chemistry in 1967 and went on to a long and successful career in chemistry and chemical engineering. The couple strongly believe in helping deserving and committed students along their educational career paths and hope their gift will give future generations access to an education they might not otherwise have had.

Now a professor emeritus, Professor Keana earned his B.A. at Kalamazoo College in 1961. He went on to complete his Ph.D. at Stanford University and joined the UO faculty in 1965. His research centered around the design, synthesis, characterization, and collaborative application of novel molecules relevant to the solution of important problems in biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience, or medicine. Professor Keana retired from research and teaching activities in 2003, but continues to serve as a medicinal chemistry/organic chemistry consultant for several small biopharmaceutical companies and patent law firms.

The fund established in his honor provides annual fellowship awards to graduate students studying in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon. The awardees are designated John Keana Graduate Fellows and the award may be used to assist with defraying the academic costs associated with attending the university such as tuition, fees, books, miscellaneous supplies, research and living expenses.

The first John Keana Graduate Student Fellowship was awarded in 2018-19 to Matthew Cerda in the Michael Pluth Lab.

Subsequent fellowships have been awarded as follows:

2019 – Eric Beyerle, Guenza Lab
2020 – Hazel Fargher, Haley, D.W. Johnson and Pluth Labs