College of


Dr. Vernon J. Ehlers receives MSU College of Human Medicine’s David Van Andel Life Sciences Achievement Award

May 10, 2010

United States Representative Vernon J. Ehlers was honored as recipient of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine David Van Andel Life Sciences Achievement Award at today’s Economic Club luncheon in downtown Grand Rapids.

Dr. Ehlers was honored by MSU for his advocacy in Congress for the advancement of science education and basic research. Dean Marsha D. Rappley presented the award to Ehlers and announced a scholarship in his name that will be presented to an exceptional MSU College of Human Medicine student.

“Congressman Ehlers has been an advocate for the life sciences and his support for research funding has become increasingly important to MSU as we have expanded the College of Human Medicine and the developed research partnerships with the Van Andel Institute, Spectrum Health and Saint Mary’s Health Care,” said Dr. Rappley.

Sworn in on January 6, 2009, to serve his eighth full term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ehlers serves on three standing House committees, including the Science and Technology Committee, where, in 1988, he oversaw the writing of the nation’s first major statement on science policy since 1945. As the first research physicist to serve in Congress, Dr. Ehlers has been recognized for his leadership on science and research issues:

  • Congressman Ehlers is a leading advocate in Congress for the advancement of science education and basic research.  He believes in preparing future generations for work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related fields, and has introduced and passed legislation advancing STEM education in Congress. 

  • As co-chairman and founder of the bipartisan STEM Education Caucus, he has played an active role in many pieces of successful legislation on the issue, working with his colleagues in the House and Senate to craft meaningful policy to promote and improve STEM education.

  • Congressman Ehlers has championed the effort to increase federal appropriations for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health.  He has worked diligently to enhance the scientific research facilities in Michigan, and was key player in bringing the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) to Michigan State University’s campus.

The David Van Andel Life Sciences Achievement Award honors a research scientist or clinician, an advocate for the life sciences, an entrepreneur whose work involves translational research, or a philanthropist whose giving has enhanced translational medicine or life sciences research. Congressman Ehlers joins prominent health science philanthropists, Ralph Hauenstein and Peter C. Cook, as recipients of the David Van Andel Life Sciences Achievement Award.


Vern Ehlers
Dr. Vernon J. Ehlers 
2010 recipient of the 
David Van Andel Life Sciences 
Achievement Award 
(courtesy photo)