Thanks to donors like you, the Dean Fraser Fellowship generates an estimated annual income of $1,250 per year. With your support, the department will continue to recognize promising graduate students while paying tribute to a beloved professor. Preference is given to those earning degrees in microbiology.
About W. Dean Fraser
William Dean Fraser, or more commonly known as Dean Fraser, was born on 3 October 1916 in Wells River, Vermont. In 1938 Fraser graduated from Harvard University with a B.S. degree and earned both his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1939 and 1941, respectively.
Following the completion of his education, Fraser found work in industry at Monsanto Chemical Company in St. Louis, in the research department between 1941-1945, before going on to a long and distinguished academic career. Fraser worked as a Fellow for the California Institute of Technology from 1946-1947, an Assistant Professor in Research from 1947-1948, as a Fellow for the National Research Council from 1948-1950, and for the University of California, Berkeley, as an Assistant Research Biochemist (1950-1953) and an Associate Research Biochemist (1953-1955) before coming to Indiana University in September of 1955.
Fraser started his career at IU as an associate professor of bacteriology and became professor of microbiology in 1960. The National Science Foundation awarded Fraser a Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship for study in Cologne, Germany, in 1960. While in Cologne Fraser helped establish the Institute of Genetic Research at the University of West Germany.
As a professor at Indiana University, Fraser developed a course called "The Strategy of Life" designed for students without a scientific background. The purpose of the class was to familiarize students with how biologists conduct research. During his tenure Fraser also became an authority on virus research and wrote a book based on his research called Viruses and Microbiology.
In his free time Fraser enjoyed performing in a Dixieland band; riding motorcycles; and flying gliding, engineless planes.
Fraser died on 25 April 1986 in Bloomington, Indiana.
Above biosketch by Archives Online at Indiana University
2020 Fraser Fellow: Jennifer Chlebek
Jennifer Chlebek is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Microbiology Program. She is in Associate Professor Ankur Dalia's lab where she studies bacterial pili, which are external appendages that bacteria use to interact with their environment. She specifically focuses on how bacteria assemble and disassemble these appendages.
Jennifer also received the first-place Floyd Award for Outstanding Publication in Microbiology for her paper in which she characterized a previously unknown motor involved in disassembly of pili. The paper appeared in PLoS Genetics.