Cui Tao’s love for both biology and computer science has led to more than an accomplished research and teaching career—it has earned her one of Barack Obama’s final awards before the former president left office in January.
Tao, a BYU alum, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). There were 102 recipients this year. Established in 1996 by then President Bill Clinton, the award is the “highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers,” according to a press release by the University of Texas.
The honor surprised Tao, who is an associate professor in the Health School of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Texas.