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Published in News Stories on November 09, 2015
Dr. Jane Reckelhoff, left, and Dr. Richard Summers present a platinum medallion to Dr. Barbara Alexander, recognizing her accomplishments at the 2015 Excellence in Research Awards.
Dr. Jane Reckelhoff, left, and Dr. Richard Summers present a platinum medallion to Dr. Barbara Alexander, recognizing her accomplishments at the 2015 Excellence in Research Awards.

Faculty, staff recognized for research excellence

Media Contact: Karen Bascom at 601-815-3940 or kbascom@umc.edu.

It was standing room only at the 2015 Excellence in Research Awards Nov. 4 in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where the UMMC Department of Research recognized the accomplishments of 27 faculty and staff.

“You can go other places (for health care), but discovery and research differentiate us,” said Dr. Richard Summers, associate vice chancellor for research. “Research is an integrated and relevant part of our mission.”

Bagge
Bagge

The ceremony recognized faculty who achieved extramural funding at one of four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. This year, UMMC also acknowledged patent recipients, outstanding clinical research, translational research, meritorious research service for core leader and support staff, and early career investigators.

Dr. Courtney Bagge, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, was one of the early career investigators recognized. 

“I'm deeply honored,” she said. “These events encourage new and prolific researchers.”

Alexander with her 2015 Platinum Award
Alexander with her 2015 Platinum Award

One of those more prolific faculty members is Dr. Barbara Alexander, one of two platinum award recipients. A professor of physiology and biophysics, Alexander views mentorship as one of the keys to success.

“I enjoy mentoring and continuing to be mentored,” she said.

Her research centers on the link between low birth weight and future risk for cardiovascular disease.

Correa with his 2015 Platinum Award
Correa with his 2015 Platinum Award

The other platinum recipient is Dr. Adolfo Correa, professor of medicine and interim director of the Jackson Heart Study. He researches the role of lifestyle and environmental factors in observed health disparities, such as increased rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Family was a theme at this year's ceremony. With each award granted, Dr. Jane Reckelhoff asked the recipient's “family” in the room to stand. Many researchers had parents and spouses present in addition to their work family: students, technicians, collaborators and mentors.

 “While we give individual awards, this is a celebration of all of us,” said Summers.

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Platinum Medallion -- $5,000,000 total:

Standing with Summers, center, are 2015 Platinum Award recipients Alexander and Correa.
Standing with Summers, center, are 2015 Platinum Award recipients Alexander and Correa.

Dr. Barbara Alexander, professor of physiology and biophysics

Dr. Adolfo Correa, professor of medicine and pediatrics and chief science officer, interim director and principal investigator of the Jackson Heart Study

Gold Medallion -- $1,000,000 total:

Standing with Summers, center, are 2015 Gold Award recipients Duhe, left, and Sims.
Standing with Summers, center, are 2015 Gold Award recipients Duhe, left, and Sims.

Dr. Roy Duhé, professor of pharmacology, professor of radiation oncology

Dr. Mario Sims, associate professor of medicine, science officer in the Jackson Heart Study

Silver Medallion -- $500,000 total:

Standing with Summers, right, are 2015 Silver Award recipients, from left, Liu, Akerley, George and,Smith.
Standing with Summers, right, are 2015 Silver Award recipients, from left, Liu, Akerley, George and,Smith.

Dr. Brian Akerley, associate professor of microbiology

Dr. Albert Dreisbach, associate professor of medicine

Dr. Eric George, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics

Dr. Xiu Liu, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior

Dr. Andrew Smith, assistant professor of radiology

Bronze Medallion -- $250,000 total:

Standing with Summers, right, are 2015 Bronze Award recipients from left, Romero, Levenson, Vallender, Coolen, Harmancey and Beech.
Standing with Summers, right, are 2015 Bronze Award recipients from left, Romero, Levenson, Vallender, Coolen, Harmancey and Beech.

Dr. Bettina Beech, associate vice chancellor for population health, professor of pediatrics and family medicine and executive director of the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute

Dr. Lique Coolen, professor of physiology and biophysics and associate dean for postdoctoral studies in the School for Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences

Dr. Romain Harmancey, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics

Dr. Anait Levenson, professor of pathology, adjunct professor of pharmacology and toxicology and member of the Cancer Institute

Dr. Damian Romero, associate professor of biochemistry

Dr. Eric Vallender, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior

 

Patent Recipients:

Dr. Wael ElShamy, associate professor of biochemistry

Dr. Richard O'Callaghan, professor and chair of microbiology

Dr. Drazen Raucher, professor of biochemistry

 

Early Career Investigators:

Dr. Courtney Bagge, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior

Dr. Gene Bidwell, assistant professor of neurology

Dr. Kevin Freeman, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior

Dr. Michael Puskarich, assistant professor of emergency medicine

 

Meritorious Research Service Core Leader:

Dr. Michael Garrett, associate professor of pharmacology and director of the Molecular and Genomics Core Facility

 

Meritorious Research Service Support Staff:

Kathy Cockrell, researcher in physiology and biophysics

 

Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research:

Dr. Alan Jones, director of research and vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine

 

Translational Research Team:

Mississippi Center for Heart Research:

Dr. Merry Lindsey, professor of physiology and biophysics

Dr. Michael Hall, assistant professor of medicine