The College of Medicine celebrated its research successes and congratulated key contributors during the Research Recognition Program Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in the CARE/Crawley Atrium. During the event, the college’s Office of Research recognized faculty members and staff for their research excellence and contributions in numerous categories during fiscal year 2018. The program was introduced by Patrick Limbach, PhD, UC vice president of research; Melanie Cushion, PhD, senior associate dean for research; and Brett Kissela, MD, senior associate dean for clinical research and chief of research services at UC Health.
Researchers who were recognized were:
Clinical Trialist of the Year
Lawrence Goldstick, MD, an associate professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine, was presented the Clinical Trialist of the Year award. The honor goes to the investigator with exceptional financial support for clinical trials during FY2018. Over the course of the last several years Goldstick and his team have been involved in 15 to 20 multiple sclerosis trials and five to 10 Alzheimer's and headache trials. Recent trials involve new treatments for relapses, comparator studies of monomethyl fumarate and dimethyl fumarate, initial treatment with ocrelizumab as initial therapy and recent onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) and utilization of remyelinating agents in combination with immunomodulating therapies in the treatment of MS. Other studies have involved utilization of S1 P1 receptor agonists in the treatment of secondary progressive MS.
FY 2018 Research Rising Star Award
Trisha Wise-Draper, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the division of hematology/oncology, and A. Phillip Owens III, PhD, assistant professor in the division of cardiovascular health and disease, were presented with the Research Rising Star Award. Wise-Draper’s research interest is the development of novel therapies for advanced solid malignancies. She is currently the principal investigator on six industry-sponsored and cooperative group clinical trials phase 1-3, and a sub-Investigator on over 40 trials. She recently received a Department of Defense grant for her work to identify possible mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy in cancer. Owens arrived at UC with a K99/R00 obtained while at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The study involved the role of tissue factor and clot formation in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This project combined Owens’ graduate studies involving AAA and his postdoctoral studies involving coagulation into his own unique niche. Since arriving at UC, Owens has applied for and received numerous internal grant awards, including a Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training Just-In-Time Core Grant, the Junior Pilot Award, Rehn Family Research Foundation Award and the Near Horizons Collaborative Grant.
FY 2018 Research Service Award
Jun-Ming Zhang, MD, professor of anesthesiology, received the Research Service Award. As the vice chair for research and the Endowed Chair in Anesthesia Research and Education, Zhang has built a thriving pain research program in the Department of Anesthesiology. He has supervised the hiring of new research faculty in the department, as well as provided administrative support and valuable mentoring for these investigators as they grew their research programs. As a result of his leadership, the Department of Anesthesiology now ranks in the top 25 of anesthesiology departments nationwide in terms of NIH funding. He also served as the chair of the Organizing Committee for the 2013 Midwest Regional Pain Interest Group (MRPIG) Meeting, which brought esteemed pain researchers from across the region to Cincinnati and highlighted the exciting research ongoing at the UC College of Medicine.
FY 2018 Research Professional Award
Rebecca Schuster, Department of Surgery, and Kathleen Alwell, RN, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, received the Research Professional Award. Schuster is a research associate who has been supporting the Lentsch, Pritts, Goodman and Makley Laboratories for many years. She manages the daily functions of these labs and contributes in many ways to the overall research mission of the Department of Surgery and UC. In addition to being proficient in routine laboratory practices, Schuster is a certified histologist and strives to be an integral part of the research team. Alwell has been a nurse for 25 years and has been with the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine for the past 20 years. She has been the clinical coordinator of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Study since 1998, a study continually funded by the National Institutes of Health for the past 25 years. She is responsible for the overall coordinating of the ascertainment process and reviews and assists with the integration of all data in this retrospective, population-based epidemiology project. She has also coordinated various ancillary studies during this time, most currently the LANTERN and APRISE studies.
Research Professional Award finalists included: Alan Ashbaugh, Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease Division; Ameet Chimote, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine; Daniel M. Hargraves, Department of Family and Community Medicine; Frankie Kropp, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience; Jamie Morris, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; and Benjamin Packard, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience.
FY 2018 Team Science Research Award
The Team Science Research Award was presented to the Translational Signatures Network, a group of scientists driven by a common interest to understand the pathophysiology of severe neuropsychiatric illness. The team was originally formed in 2015 as a collaboration between Robert McCullumsmith, MD, PhD, former professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience who is now at the University of Toledo; Jaroslaw Meller, PhD, professor of environmental health; Adam Funk, PhD, a research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience; and Ken Greis, PhD, associate dean for research core facilities and professor of cancer biology.
There also were several awards for Women in Medicine and Science. These included:
Women in Medicine and Science Outstanding Leadership Award
Jennifer Cavitt, MD, professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine, and Vinita Takiar, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology
Women in Medicine and Science Champion Award
Andrew Friedrich, MD, professor and chair of anesthesiology
Women in Medicine and Science Distinguished Contributions Award
Valerie Gray Hardcastle, PhD, executive director of the Institute for Health Innovation and vice president for health innovation at Northern Kentucky University
Women in Medicine and Science Outstanding Mentorship Award
Grace LeMasters, PhD, emerita professor of environmental health
Women in Medicine and Science Founder’s Award
Erin Haynes, DrPH, chair of environmental health at the University of Kentucky and former professor of environmental health at the UC College of Medicine