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UMMC students, faculty lauded for scholarship, research

Published on Monday, January 10, 2022

Phi Kappa Phi initiates 2021-22 scholars

Initiates of the Medical Center’s Phi Kappa Phi Chapter were honored recently during ceremonies led by faculty leaders from all schools.

A multidisciplinary honor society, it recognizes excellence in all academic disciplines and engages scholars in service to others. To qualify for membership, undergraduates must be seniors or second-semester juniors with high standards of scholarship and character.

Graduate students and students in professional schools must have distinguished records placing them among the ablest in their classes. Faculty members must have made significant contributions to their disciplines.

The new initiates are Martin Lindsey Kelly and Thien-Trieu Hoang Nguyen, School of Dentistry; Monica Nichols White, School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences; Lauren Ashley Collins, Sarah Elizabeth Cox, Hayden Olivia Hill, Ashlyn Amy Mendrop, Payal Navin Patel, Annalies Lukiena Pearson, Madison Victoria Peyton and Ruth Michelle Vinson, School of Health Related Professions;

Kever Anthony Lewis, School of Medicine; Kesha Nicholas O’reilly, John D. Bower School of Population Health; Bethany Patrice Ball, Tabitha Gwynne Marlana Dahmen-Redd, LaDonna B. De La Riva, Barbara Joanna Herring, Ashley Kelly Hitchins, Kaitlyn Grace Johnson, Lauren Elizabeth Shoemaker, Alayia Mahlon Stebbins, Mary Clayton Burrell, Erin Mackenzie Cook, Erin Leigh Scruggs, Amanda Deann Ward and Emilee Jane Tadlock, School of Nursing.

Medical Center students that were inducted in the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Ceremony December 8 included: School of Dentistry; Martin Lindey Kelly and Thien-Trieu Hoang Nguyen. School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences; Monica Nichols White. School of Health Related Professions; Lauren Ashley Collins, Sarah Elizabeth Cox, Hayden Olivia Hill, Ashlyn Amy Mendrop, Payal Navin Patel, Annalies Lukiena Pearson, Madison Victoria Vinson. School of Medicine; Kever Anthony Lewis. School or Nursing; Bethany Patrice Bell, Mary Clayton Burrell, Erin Mackenzie Cook, Tabitha Gwynne Marlana Dahmen-Redd, Barbara Joanna Herring, Ashley Kelly Hitchens, Kaitlyn Grace Johnson, Erin Leigh Scruggs, Lauren Elizabeth Shoemaker, Alayia Mahlon Stebbins, Emilee Jane Tadlock, Amanda Deann Ward, Ladonna B. De La Riva. School of Population Health; Kesha Nicholas O’Reilly.
Medical Center students were inducted in the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi during a December 8 ceremony.

Association honors Marocho for dentistry research

Susana Salazar Marocho
Salazar Marocho

Dr. Susana Salazar Marocho, assistant professor of biomedical materials science in the School of Dentistry, will receive the Procter & Gamble Underrepresented Faculty Research Fellowship from the International Association for Dental Research. She will be recognized during the opening session of the American Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research annual meeting in March 2022. The conference will be held in a hybrid format online and in Atlanta, Ga.

The award honors postdoctoral fellows and early-career faculty who show a commitment to and academic excellence in dentistry-related research. The honor includes a $10,000 grant to support their scientific activities.

Salazar Marocho, a member of the UMMC faculty since 2016, studies the physical characteristics of ceramic materials used in dental crowns. Her research focuses on what conditions cause them to break, and new ways to attach and detach these materials during dental procedures. She is also the director of the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences’ PhD program in biomedical sciences.

 

Faculty lauded with Ruckdeschel Pilot Awards for Cancer Research

Six Medical Center faculty members are the first recipients of the UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute’s John C. Ruckdeschel Pilot Awards for Cancer Research.

The initiative, created in May 2021, provides funding for collaborative research projects by junior and senior faculty members with no history of cancer-related extramural funding.

A key goal of the awards, totaling up to $180,000, is to support research that holds promise for extramural funding by the National Institutes of Health or other major funding sources.

The initiative is a partnership with the UMMC Intramural Research Support Program and is named in honor of Ruckdeschel, former CCRI director.

Receiving awards were:

  • Gina Jefferson, professor of otolaryngology and leader of the CCRI Interdisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer team, and Dr. Lana Jackson, professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgeons and co-principal investigators for “Cancer screening in Mississippi through public health dental clinics.”
  • Yann Gibert, associate professor of cell and molecular biology, “Identification, selection and validation in vitro and in vivo of novel platinum related chemotherapeutics.”
  • Laree Hiser, associate professor of nursing, “Tubulin tri-methylation as a risk factor for infection of high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV): Exploring the epi-cytoskeleton paradigm to explain population disparities with cervical cancer.”
  • Stephen Stray, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, “Influenza as an oncolytic virus treatment for glioblastoma.”
  • Jung Su Ryu, instructor of cell and molecular biology, “Characterization of p110 soluble EGFR isoform in ovarian cancer.”
  • Candace Howard-Claudio, associate professor of radiology, “Image-guided oncolytic therapy combined with taxanes for castration resistant prostate cancer.”

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