Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Donald C. Balfour Alumni Award for Meritorious Research

Presented annually, the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Donald C. Balfour Alumni Award for Meritorious Research recognizes outstanding research by a Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education resident or fellow whose primary training is in a clinical field.

Ideally, nominated research will involve the translation of basic scientific findings into clinical practice at the patient and population levels. This can be novel hypothesis-driven research, clinical (patient-oriented) research or basic science research. Recipients receive an award of $2,000 and a certificate of accomplishment from the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association.

Selection criteria

The nominee must be a Mayo Clinic resident or fellow who currently holds a clinical appointment — or has completed an appointment within the past year — in medical and laboratory specialties, surgery and surgical specialties, or internal medicine and medical specialties. It is preferred that the research or phase of research considered for an award should be completed prior to nomination. Specific criteria considered include:

  • Originality and significance of the research
  • Strength of letters of reference
  • Number of original publications as first or second author resulting from the nominated research (manuscripts published before Mayo training will not be considered)
  • Number of research or other academic awards
  • Initiative and independent work by the nominee in accomplishing the research
  • Final publication of the research or completion of a thesis for a graduate degree are not prerequisites for consideration for the award

A selection committee of scientists from Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association make the final determination.


Members of the Mayo Clinic faculty should submit the following to make a nomination:

  • A completed nomination form
  • A letter of nomination describing in detail how the nominee meets the award criteria
  • 1-2 page summary from nominee describing their greatest research contributions and why
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae and bibliography
  • Letters of recommendation (five are recommended)
  • Nomination deadline: February 1, 2021



Year Recipient Year Recipient
2020 Christopher Graffeo, M.D. 2000 Michael J. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D.
2019 Alberto Rubio Tapia, M.D. 1999 David Cable, M.D.
2018 Yogesh Reddy, M.D. 1998 Peter A. Brady, M.B., Ch.B., M.D., and Konstantinos N. Lazaridis, M.D.
2017 Johnathon M. Aho, M.D. 1997 Tracy Stevens, M.D.
2016 Wisit Cheungpasitporn, M.D. 1996 Tushar C. Patel, M.D.
2015 Robert J. McDonald, M.D., Ph.D. 1995 Stuart Robert, M.D.
2014 Arthur Beyder, M.D., Ph.D. 1994 Amir Lerman, M.D.
2013 Sahil Khanna, M.B.B.S. 1993 Kenneth Margulies, M.D.
2012 Rodolfo Savica, M.D. 1992 Armin Heufelder, M.D., and Mark Perella, M.D.
2011 Jonathan N. Johnson, M.D. 1991 Margaret M. Redfield, M.D., and Michael J. Joyner, M.D.
2010 Howard Masuoka, M.D., Ph.D. 1990 Ulrich Specks, M.D.
2009 Mark J. Truty, M.D. 1989 Brooks S. Edwards, M.D.
2008 Ondrej Lisy, M.D., Ph.D. 1988 David O. Warner, M.D.
2007 T. Jared Bunch, M.D. 1987 Shigenobu Kanba, M.D.
2006 R. Houston Thompson, M.D. 1986 Terrence D. Lagerlund, M.D.
2005 David Dingli, M.D., Ph.D. 1985  Mark S. Allen, M.D.
2004 Sean C. Dowdy, M.D. 1984 Mark R. Pittelkow, M.D., and Roger Tuck, M.D.
2003 Ruben A. Mesa, M.D. 1983 James Morgan, M.D.
2002 Horng H. Chen, M.D., and Nicholas Vlahakis, M.D. 1982 Kristin Leiferman, M.D.
2001 Birgit Kantor, M.D. 1981 John C. Burnett Jr., M.D.
1980  Gregory Mathew, M.D.