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Richard Bertram, DRP

2019 Distinguished Research Professor Recipient Richard Bertram

By: Shelby Fintak

Every year, the Council on Research and Creativity recognizes scholars, researchers, artists and professors, and rewards them for their contribution to Florida State University. Among these awards is that of Distinguished Research Professor (DRP), one of the highest distinctions a professor can receive. A successful nomination requires a team effort between the Chair or Dean of a given department, the nominee, and at least three established scholars not associated with Florida State University. Many brilliant minds come together for the purpose of recognizing a few. Only one to four DRP awards are received each year, making our very own Dr. Richard Bertram one of about 70 professors to add this distinction to his title since its debut in 1990.

"I feel flattered. There are a lot of good researchers at this university, [...] so it's sort of hard to imagine that my name was selected out of all the other people that were nominated," said Bertram. Every department can nominate one full ranking professor each year, but much effort is required for that nominee to be considered. The Mathematics department's faculty evaluation committee nominated Dr. Bertram to celebrate the cumulative body of his research since joining the university back in 1999. His studies in biomathematics have led him to develop mathematical models for various systems in physiology and neuroscience, such as nerve cells and insulin secreting cells. This work put him in collaboration with researchers at the University of Michigan, Boston University and the National Institute of Health, all of whom were happy to write him letters of endorsement for this award.

It was Christopher Tam, an original recipients of the DRP award himself, who got the ball rolling on Dr. Bertram's nomination. He was the first to write one of many very thoughtful letters required for the application. With this, the Mathematics department was well on its way to receiving it's first DRP award in almost 25 years.

Congratulations Dr. Bertram!