Karo Stepien headshot. She is the 2021 Ida M. Green Award winner.

Please join the Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in congratulating award recipient Karolina (Karo) Stepien, a graduate student in the Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program, has been chosen by the Graduate Awards Committee to receive the 2021 Ida M. Green Award.

Karo first came to UT Southwestern in 2014 as part of an exchange program with Wroclaw University and other top universities in Poland supervised by Jose Rizo-Rey, PhD, Professor of Biophysics. After working as a visiting student in the Rizo-Rey lab, Karo matriculated to UT Southwestern Graduate School in 2016 and joined Dr. Rizo-Rey’s lab for her dissertation research. Karo has been highly productive in the lab. Her research has yielded important new insights into the molecular mechanism of neurotransmitter release, work that has contributed to first-author publications in PNAS USA and Nature Communications, and co-authorships on five additional papers in high-impact journals. 

Karo has also had an outstanding record of service to her fellow graduate students and the UTSW community overall. She chaired her department’s social committee, had leadership roles promoting career strategies with the Graduate Career Development Office, led numerous science outreach activities with United to Serve and Science on Tap, and served on the Board of Directors of the Dallas chapter of the Fulbright Association to promote international exchanges.

The Ida M. Green Award was established in 1987 with a bequest from Mrs. Green to Southwestern Medical Foundation. With encouragement from her husband, Cecil Green, the award was established to acknowledge a female graduate student in the UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to research excellence, the well-being of fellow students, and exceptional community service. The honor comes with a monetary award provided by the Women in Science and Medicine Advisory Committee (WISMAC) and Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Learn more about the Ida M. Green Award.