VERMILLION, S.D. -- Robin Miskimins, Ph.D. was named the 2007 recipient of the Sanford School of Medicine’s Chester McVay Teaching and Research Excellence Award.
Dr. Miskimins’ research focuses on understanding how white matter (myelin) in the brain and spinal cord develops. Myelin is essential for proper conduction of nerve impulses. Loss of myelin, as in multiple sclerosis, leads to neurological problems. She is studying several aspects of the process by which signals are sent to the specialized cells that produce myelin, causing them to stop dividing and to differentiate. The ultimate aim is to understand enough about normal myelin development to be able to reestablish myelin production in disease states. The Chester B. McVay Award was established by family and friends in 1987 in memory of Dr. McVay, a Professor and former Chairman of Surgery in the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. The award was presented to Dr. Miskimins at the May 2007 Medical School Graduation Convocation in Sioux Falls.