RAR Announces Winners of the 2023 Patrick J. Manning Award

Portraits of three award winners: Hannah Baker; Shijina Raj Manjankattil Rajan; Dr. Haiguang Wang

Research Animal Resources (RAR) is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Patrick J. Manning Award, which recognizes a University of Minnesota employee or graduate student who works with research animals and who has shown special efforts on behalf of research animals and consequently on behalf of science. The award is in honor of Patrick J. Manning who was the director of RAR from 1974 to 1994. Colleagues from across the University submitted nominations for the award, and three winners were selected, one in each category (staff member, postdoctoral associate, and graduate student). Each winner received a personal honorarium of $1,000.

Congratulations to the three winners who received glowing nominations from colleagues for their exceptional efforts on behalf of research animals and on behalf of science.

portrait of Hannah Baker
Hannah Baker (staff member) serves as the animal operations supervisor at the Neuromodulation Research Center (NMRC), which is a large collaborative entity that brings together University of Minnesota’s experts from neurology, neurosurgery, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, radiology, and other disciplines that share a focus to advance the understanding of brain conditions and diseases and the neuromodulation therapies that improve them.

“Hannah is an excellent candidate for this award because of her dedication to animal welfare in research and her ability to consistently prove that improvements in animal welfare can contribute directly towards improvements in research outcomes. She has implemented a wide range of new practices, policies, and equipment to improve the lives of our animals.”

portrait of Shijina Raj Manjankattil Rajan

Shijina Raj Manjankattil Rajan (graduate student) is a final year PhD candidate in the Department of Animal Sciences, having worked in the poultry microbiology lab since 2017, focusing on completing her MS and PhD research.

“Shijina has contributed to several live poultry studies to improve the preharvest microbiological safety of turkeys and broilers” and “was instrumental in designing appropriate experimental designs using the optimal number of [animals for several Salmonella] studies.”


portrait of Dr. Haiguang Wang

Dr. Haiguang Wang (postdoctoral associate) is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology in the Medical School.

Dr. Wang’s “expertise in mouse surgery led to the development of refined protocols such as mouse parabiosis and an intra-thymic injection technique using ultrasound imaging that eliminated the need for open chest surgery.” Additionally, “one of his priorities is that our use of animals is performed in an ethical manner designed to minimize pain and distress. Beyond performing his own experiments with high standards for the humane treatment of our animals, Dr. Wang collaborates with researchers from other labs to share the use of animals. In addition to these measures, Dr. Wang seeks to use alternatives to animal testing whenever possible, such as computer models, and cell cultures.”