Graduate Programs

Robert F. Spencer Neuroscience Award

The Spencer Award was established to honor the memory of a devoted teacher, exemplary researcher and mentor of graduate students. Dr. Robert F. Spencer was a Professor in the Department of Anatomy (now the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology) from 1977 until his untimely death in 2001. Dr. Spencer taught neuroanatomy to graduate and medical students. He was highly respected in the scientific community, particularly for studies in the neuroanatomy of the oculomotor system, focusing on CNS vestibular connections underlying vestibuloocular mechanisms. He was funded by the National Eye Institute for almost thirty years, and was the recipient of a prestigious NIH Merit Award. He published numerous 60 scientific papers and 19 book chapters and was a frequently invited speaker at major national and international symposia.

The Award will be made to a graduate in the third year or beyond in the Ph.D. Program of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology who has distinguished himself/herself in the study of neuroanatomy. The student should have achieved excellence in his/her neuroscience coursework and have demonstrated excellence in his/her research in the field of Neuroscience.

Recipients of the Spencer Award

  • 2009-10: John Campbell
  • 2008-09: Emily Dilger
  • 2007-08: Seema Shroff
  • 2006-07: Keith Bishop
  • 2005-06: Peter Haar
  • 2004-05: Melissa McGinn
  • 2001-02: David S. Liao
  • 2000-01: Richard H. Singleton
  • 1999-00: Laurie King
  • 1998-99: David Okonkwo
  • 1997-98: Elizabeth Brown
  • 1996-97: John Gibbs
  • 1995-96: Barton H. Manning
  • 1994-95: Felix A. Chen
  • 1993-94: Edwin E. Gilliam
  • 1991-92: Shwu-fen Wang
  • 1991-92: Sherif Said
  • 1990-91: Jyotsna Jahagirdar
  • 1989-90: Mary A. Snyder
  • 1988-89: Kathryn E. Sloan
  • 1987-88: Daniel Dunning
  • 1986-87: Gerald V. Smith
  • 1985-86: Marianne Beninato
  • 1984-85: Michelle Ann Larson
  • 1983-84: Jon Nelson
  • 1982-83: Mary D. Ellison
  • 1981-82: Susan M. Carlton
  • 1980-81: Joseph E. Levine
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center
Video Gallery