Research excellence awards mark faculty, staff achievementsPublished on Monday, October 28, 2019By: Karen BascomThe University of Mississippi Medical Center held its annual Excellence in Research Awards Oct. 25 in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union.Hosted by the Office of Research, the ceremony recognizes faculty members for their achievements in gaining outside funding. The award levels - platinum, gold, silver and bronze - are based on the cumulative amount of extramural funding received by the investigator for their original research over their career at UMMC.The 18 medallion recipients, including two platinum, five gold, nine silver and two bronze contributed to UMMC’s 302 grants and awards for fiscal year 2019.Dr. Richard Summers, associate vice chancellor for research, said the event is one of his favorite days of the Medical Center year. He noted the diversity of the recipients, representing 14 departments and three schools. He also noted that UMMC brought in nearly $75 million in FY 2019, more than 60 percent of which came from federal agencies ranging from the National Institutes of Health to the National Endowment for the Humanities.“This is a reflection of the robustness of our research mission across the university,” Summers said.Addressing the researchers in attendance, Summers added, “Your hard work has accomplished this, not the Office of Research. We are just your cheerleaders and facilitators, and we are very excited about the direction our mission is going.”Platinum Medallion – $5 million totalDr. Susan Buttross, professor of pediatrics-child developmentButtross, medical director of the Center for Advancement of Youth, is the principal investigator of the Child Health and Development Project, which seeks to measurably improve health and development outcomes for young children through screenings and interventions in child care centers, doctors’ offices and other locations.Dr. Deborah Konkle-Parker, professor of medicine-infectious diseasesKonkle-Parker served as PI for the UMMC cohort of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study and serves in the same capacity for the study’s successor, the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study. She is also the PI for a substance abuse treatment program called Helping HAND (Helping to Advance in New Directions). Gold Medallion – $1 million totalDr. Fan Fan, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicologyDr. Bernadette Grayson, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciencesDr. Michael Hall, associate professor of medicine-cardiologyDr. Bradley Walters, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciencesDr. Licy Yanes Cardozo, associate professor of cell and molecular biology Gold Award recipients include, from left starting second from left, Dr. Fan Fan, Dr. Licy Yanes Cardozo, Dr. Bernadette Grayson and Dr. Michael Hall.Silver Medallion – $500,000 totalDr. Denise Cornelius, assistant professor of emergency medicineDr. Charlotte Hobbs, associate professor of pediatrics-infectious diseasesDr. Sally Huskinson, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behaviorDr. Michael Roach, associate professor of biomedical materials scienceDr. Joshua Speed, assistant professor of physiology and biophysicsDr. Frank Spradley, assistant professor of surgeryDr. Kedra Wallace, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecologyDr. Junming Wang, professor of pathologyDr. Keli Xu, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciencesSilver medallion recipients include, from left starting second from left, Dr. Sally Huskinson, Dr. Michael Roach, Dr. Joshua Speed, Dr. Charlotte Hobbs, Dr. Denise Cornelius, Dr. Keli Xu, Dr. Kendra Wallace and Dr. Frank Spradley. Bronze Medallion – $250,000 totalDr. Seth Lirette, assistant professor of data scienceDr. Zhen Wang, assistant professor of physiology and biophysicsBronze Award recipients include Dr. Zhen Wang, second from left, and Dr. Seth Lirette, second from right. Discovery AwardsEarly Career InvestigatorDr. Denise Cornelius, assistant professor of emergency medicineDr. Denise Cornelius receives the Early Career Investigator Award. Meritorious Research Service – FacultyDr. Vani Vijayakumar, professor of radiologyDr. Vani Vijayakumar receives the Faculty Meritorious Research Service Award. Meritorious Research Service – Staff Ashley Johnson, scientist III in pharmacology and toxicologyGloria Minniefield, accounting manager for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Post-AwardAshley Johnson, left, and Gloria Minniefield each receive the Staff Meritorious Research Service Award. Outstanding Achievement in Clinical ResearchDr. Shou-Ching Tang, professor of medicine, director of clinical and translation research, Cancer Center and Research Institute Dr. Shou-Ching Tang receives the Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research Award.