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Early career alumni excellence

Extraordinary alumni succeed in exceptional fashion

The Alumni Achievement Award

The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni 35 years of age and younger for their extraordinary professional accomplishments. These prominent young alumni are nominated by an academic college and invited by the President of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators. They demonstrate to students that Penn State alumni succeed in exceptional fashion at an early age.

2023 Recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award

Leah Liu

2009 B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Schreyer Honors College

Leah Liu, 2023 Recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award

Leah Liu is currently associate director of target biology at Korro Bio, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she leads a team responsible for applying new genetic technologies for the treatment of liver diseases. Korro Bio uses the cell’s natural RNA editing machinery to correct disease mutations and enhance protein function without permanently altering the genome.

Prior to Korro Bio, Leah began her biotech career as a scientist at Generation Bio, Inc., which focuses on developing durable, redosable gene therapies for rare and prevalent diseases. Leah pursued postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, funded by the American Cancer Society, where she investigated specific chromosome translocations in a biliary cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. Leah received her Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School, where she was awarded funding through the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health for research that uncovered new roles for cannabinoid receptor function during liver development and metabolism. Leah got her start in biological research as a Schreyer Honors Scholar in the lab of Professor Wendy Hanna-Rose in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department. While at Penn State, Leah was a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and Astronaut Scholar.

A lifetime member of the Alumni Association, Leah lives in the Boston area with her husband, Jonathan Lichkus (’09 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Schreyer Honors College) and son, Charlie.

Previous Eberly Alumni Achievement Award Recipients

Therese Jones

Sina Memari

Laura Dassama
Daniel Kapinos

Megan Matthews

John Urschel

Brandon McCollum

Brian Geary

H. Jacob Hanchar

Danielle Bassett
Heather Agnew

Maggie Jeffries

Kristina Peachman

Paul Lerou

Bruce Booth, Jr.