2020 Research Recognition Awards honor faculty, staff contributions
Each year, the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies invites faculty and staff of the College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to submit nominations for the Research Recognition Awards.
The 2020 awards were presented immediately following the fall Dean’s lecture Oct. 29.
Started in 2014, the Research Recognition Awards honor the outstanding research achievements of Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center employees.
The event highlights those who have distinguished themselves in several categories. This year’s honorees are listed here.
Career Research Excellence Award
The culmination of the event is the announcement of the Career Research Excellence Award, honoring an individual who, over a lengthy career at Penn State, has dedicated their career to enhancing the research mission through their own research as well as education, mentorship, service and collaborative efforts to further advance science.
This year’s awardee is Richard Legro, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and professor of public health sciences.
Lloyd Prize for Innovative Thinking
In addition to the Research Recognition Awards, a new endowed award of $1,000 was presented by the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies of Penn State College of Medicine during the 2020 Research Recognition Awards ceremony.
The Lloyd Prize for Innovative Thinking is open to any student matriculated at the College of Medicine, any postgraduate trainee holding a graduate or professional degree (e.g., master’s, doctorate) employed by the College of Medicine, or anyone with a faculty-level appointment at the College of Medicine. It is designed to nurture a culture of reflective innovation and celebrate creative minds.
The inaugural recipient of the prize is Rongling Wu, PhD, distinguished professor of public health sciences (Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics) and director of the Center for Statistical Genetics. Dr. Wu was selected from among 14 nominees by a two-level review process that examined the importance of the problem on which he is working, his innovation and his scholarly approach.
Outstanding Collaborative Research Team Award
This award recognizes the research efforts of a group of investigators that transcend the traditional boundaries of academic disciplines to further the research mission. Two teams were honored in this year’s awards.
Gynecological Malignancies Group
Team members include:
- Katherine Aird, PhD, assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology
- Maria Baker, PhD, MS, LGC, professor of medicine
- Nadine Hempel, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and obstetrics and gynecology
- Carrie Hossler, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology
- Joshua Kesterson, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology
- George-Lucian Moldovan, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology
- Jordan Newell, MD, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine
- Rebecca Phaeton, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and microbiology and immunology
- Jennifer Rosenberg, MD, assistant professor and director of education of radiation oncology
- Vonn Walter, PhD, assistant professor of public health sciences and biochemistry and molecular biology
- Joshua Warrick, MD, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and surgery
Informed medical decision-making collaborative research
Team members include:
- Laura Badzek, LLM, JD, RN, dean and professor, College of Nursing
- Andrew Foy, MD, associate professor of medicine and public health sciences
- Michael Green, MS, MD, professor of humanities and medicine
- Benjamin Levi, MD, PhD, University professor of humanities and pediatrics
- Terri Smith, staff member, Department of Humanities
- Lauren J. Van Scoy, MD, associate professor of medicine, humanities and public health sciences
Outstanding Community-Engaged Researcher Award
This award recognizes individuals or teams who effectively invest professional time in communicating their research to the community, engaging the community in the research and/or demonstrating partnership with a community organization in their research.
The 2020 award was presented to Benjamin Levi, MD, PhD, University professor of humanities and pediatrics, for work related to increasing the rate of accurate child abuse reporting.
Samuel Hinkle Junior Faculty Research Award
This award is presented to faculty members who are assistant professors within five years of appointment to Penn State at the time of nomination and selection, in honor of their early-career growth and impact in one or more subject areas.
Two faculty members were honored for 2020:
- Timothy Deimling, MD, MS, now associate professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Yubal Silberman, PhD, assistant professor of neural and behavioral sciences
Outstanding Research Staff Member Award
Several staff members were honored for their contributions to research:
- Marisa Klein, research compliance specialist, Conflict of Interest
- Courtney Lester, research project manager, Department of Medicine
- Amy Longenecker, clinical research specialist, Department of Dermatology and Department of Opthalmology
- Polly Montgomery, human research technologist, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Kimberly Perkins, research compliance specialist, Clinical Trials Office
- Rhonda Shaffer, proposal and award generalist, Department of Medicine
Outstanding Research Publication Award
This award recognizes a groundbreaking research publication highlighting originality and impact that has contributed to the advancement of research.
This year’s award was given to Yuka Imamura, PhD, for Integrative functional genomic analysis of human brain development and neuropsychiatric risks, published in the journal Science in December 2018.
Career Citation Milestone Award
The College of Medicine honors faculty who are the first or last author on publications that have received more than 500 citations (“D Club”) or 1,000 citations (“M Club”) in Scopus since their publication. This year’s awardees, based on the number of citations listed on Oct. 15, 2020, are:
M Club – 1,000 citations
- Laura Carrel, MA, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, awarded for X-inactivation profile reveals extensive variability in X-linked gene expression in females, published March 17, 2005, in the journal Nature, March 17, 2005 – 1,259 citations
- Keith Cheng, MD, PhD, distinguished professor of pathology, biochemistry and molecular biology and pharmacology, awarded for 8-Hydroxyguanine, an abundant form of oxidative DNA damage, causes G → T and A → C substitutions, published in 1992 in the Jouranl of Biological Chemistry – 1,606 citations
- Thomas Chin, MD, professor of pediatrics, awarded for Isolated noncompaction of left ventricular myocardium. A study of eight cases, published Jan. 1, 1990, in the journal Circulation – 1,022 citations
D Club – 500 citations
- James Broach, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, awarded for Transcriptional silencing in yeast is associated with reduced nucleosome acetylation, published Jan. 1, 1993, in the journal Genes and Development – 684 citations
- Matthew Coates, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and pharmacology and director of research in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Medicine, awarded for Molecular defects in mucosal serotonin content and decreased serotonin reuptake transporter in ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome, published June 2004 in the journal Gastroenterology – 555 citations
- Charles Duffy, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, awarded for Sensitivity of MST neurons to optic flow stimuli. I. A continuum of response selectivity to large-field stimuli, published Jan. 1, 1991, in the Journal of Neurophysiology – 673 citations
- Andrew Gardner, PhD, professor and vice chair for research, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, awarded for Exercise rehabilitation programs for the treatment of claudication pain: A meta-analysis, published in 1995 in the Journal of the American Medical Association – 664 citations
- Donald Gill, professor and chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, awarded for Requirement of the inositol trisphosphate receptor for activation of store-operated Ca2+ channels, published March 3, 2000, in the journal Science – 512 citations
- Klaus Helm, MD, professor of dermatology and pathology and laboratory medicine, awarded for Cutaneous metastases in patients with metastatic carcinoma: A retrospective study of 4020 patients, published Jan. 1, 1993, in the Jouranl of the American Academy of Dermatology – 728 citations
- Scot Kimball, PhD, profesor of cellular and molecular physiology, awarded for Leucine stimulates translation initiation skeletal muscle of postabsorptive rats via a rapamycin-sensitive pathway, \published in 2000 in the Journal of Nutrition – 538 citations
- Douglas Leslie, PhD, professor and vice chair for education, Department of Public Health Sciences, chief of the Division of Health Services and Behavioral Research in the Department of Public Health Sciences and professor of psychiatry and behavioral health, awarded for One-year health care costs associated with delirium in the elderly population, published Jan. 14, 2008, in the Archives of Internal Medicine – 500 citations
- Allan Lipton, MD, professor of medicine, awarded for Pamidronate prevents skeletal complications and is effective palliative treatment in women with breast carcinoma and osteolytic bone metastases: Long term follow-up of two randomized, placebo-controlled trials, published March 1, 2000, in the journal Cancer – 569 citations
- Thomas Ma, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine and professor of microbiology and immunology and cellular and molecular physiology, awarded for TNF-α-induced increase in intestinal epithelial tight junction permeability requires NF-κB activation, published March 2004 in the American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology – 513 citations
- Gerald Naccarelli, MD, professor of medicine, awarded for Increasing Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter in the United States, published Dec. 1, 2009, in the American Journal of Cardiology 582 citations
- Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, professor of public health sciences and physical medicine and rehabilitation, awarded for An update of controlled physical activity trials in cancer survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis, published June 1, 2010, in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship – 793 citations
- Christopher Siedlecki, MS, PhD, Jane A. Fetter professor of surgery and engineering, awarded for Shear-dependent changes in the three-dimensional structure of human von Willebrand factor, published Oct. 15, 1996, in the journal Blood – 501 citations
- Jose Stoute, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology, awarded for A preliminary evaluation of a recombinant circumsporozoite protein vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria, published Jan. 9, 1997, in the New England Journal of Medicine – 689 citations
- Joyce Tombran-Tink, PhD, professor of neural and behavioral sciences, awarded for PEDF: A pigment epithelium-derived factor with potent neuronal differentiative activity, published September 1991 in Experimental Eye Research – 528 citations
- Hong-Gang Wang, PhD, Lois High Berstler professor of pediatrics and pharmacology and director of the Pediatric Molecular Oncology Program, awarded for CHOP is involved in endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis by enhancing DR5 expression in human carcinoma cells, published Oct. 29, 2004, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry – 543 citations
- Judith Weisz, MBBChir, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, awarded for Plasma testosterone and progesterone titers of pregnant rats, their male and female fetuses, and neonatal offspring, published January 1980 in the journal Endocrinology – 679 citations (honored posthumously; Dr. Weisz passed away in the week before the awards were presented)
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