Two University of Utah faculty members recently received the coveted Sloan Research Fellowships, each carrying a $35,000 grant to support their work in the sciences.

Assistant professors Sheila David, chemistry, and Wieslawa Niziol, mathematics, received the fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. David won her award based on her promising work involving DNA repair, which may one day lead to advances in the fight against cancer and the aging process. Niziol received her fellowship for her use of geometry to study solutions to complex mathematical problems.Having two female recipients is a rarity in a field historically dominated by males, said Peter J. Stang, dean of the University of Utah's College of Science.

"This attests that we not only have female scientists but top female scientists," Stang said.

The fellowships were established in 1955 to provide support and recognition to young scientists in their research. The foundation receives nearly 500 nominations annually, from which 100 fellows are selected.