John Mellnik (graduate student, Forest Lab) received a 2015 UNC Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) Impact Award at an April 9 ceremony honoring the recipients. John received the award for his research to create more effective inhalers for patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes. John performed mathematical modelingand simulation techniques to quantify the percent of inhaled medication that will pass through an individual patient’s lung mucus over time, as well as the percentage of drug that is cleared from the lung. John is currently is working on applying these tools to data from clinical trials to expore how patient characteristics such as age, body mass index and smoking history affect this dynamic. John’s work represents a significant advance toward rigorous protocols for personalized inhaled medications, with the potential for safer and more effective standards of treatment.