Excellence Awards honors top researchers’ successful funding
Published on Monday, December 12, 2022
By: Andrea Wright Dilworth, email@example.com
Photos By: Joe Ellis, UMMC Photography
The University of Mississippi Medical Center recognized 23 faculty and staff members during its annual Excellence in Research Awards ceremony on Friday.
In its 23rdyear, the awards celebrate investigators most successful at securing extramurally funded original research during their careers at UMMC. During FY 2022, the Medical Center received 409 awards totaling $107,286,138.
This year’s awards consist of one platinum, six gold, eight silver, and two bronze, determined by the level of funding through the previous year. Each researcher was presented a framed medallion and a financial award.
For the sixth year, Discovery Awards, which are peer-nominated and selected, were also presented to researchers in four categories.
Dr. Joey Granger, associate vice chancellor for research, said the ceremony, held face-to-face for the first time in two years, is important because it highlights what he thinks is the most important mission at UMMC.
“Research makes us an academic medical center,” Granger told the audience at the Norman C. Nelson Student Union. “Our research mission has an important impact on our other missions – both education and clinical research – and it makes those missions even better. One of the metrics in excellence in research is extramural awards, and I’m glad to say that we had significant increases in extramural funding.”
The Medical Center’s extramural funding increased by 65 percent over the last five years, and 150 percent over the last decade, said Granger. “That increase could not have been possible without many of you in this room.”
Dr. Caroline Compretta, associate professor of preventive medicine and sole recipient of the platinum award, has brought in nearly $6 million in research funding, joining the ranks of just 30 others who have reached the $5 million threshold since the ceremony’s inception in 2000, said Dr. Leslie Musshafen, executive director of research.
“Her research spans across many facets of population health and health equity with the focus of examining the social determinants of chronic diseases, specifically diabetes and obesity for children and families who live in resource-limited communities across the Southeast,” said Musshafen, introducing Compretta.
“Her work has led to a better understanding of the local challenges that affect the adoption or rejection of many health behaviors and provided the framework for creating a more culturally specific and diverse health care and research system.”
Dr. Joshua Mann, professor and chair of preventive medicine, said it’s been exciting having a front-row view of Compretta’s rapid rise as a researcher.
“She joined our department in 2016 in her first full-time faculty role, and in just a few short years, she has become known regionally and nationally as a go-to expert in community engagement and research on population health and health equity,” said Mann. “I can’t wait to see what the future has in store as she continues to grow in stature as a researcher, educator and leader.”
These are the recipients:
Platinum Medallion - $5 million
- Caroline Compretta, associate professor of preventive medicine
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Gold Medallion - $ 1 million
- Yann Gibert, associate professor of cell and molecular biology
- Erin Taylor, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics
- Sarah Glover, professor of medicine
- William Hillegass, associate professor of data science
- Norma Ojeda, professor and chair of advanced biomedical education
- Michael Griswold, professor of medicine/biostatistics
— — —
Silver Medallion - $500,000
- Dr. Matthias Krenn, assistant professor of neurosurgery
- Dr. Alan Joseph Mouton, instructor of physiology and biophysics
- Dr. Gailen Marshall Jr., the R. Faser Triplett Sr. MD Chair in Allergy and Immunology
- Dr. Nancy Min, associate professor of medicine
- Chad Blackshear, biostatistician III
- Dr. Harry Pantazopoulos, assistant professor of psychiatry
- Dr. Eric Vallender, associate professor of psychiatry
- Dr. Adrienne Tin, associate professor of medicine
— — —
Bronze Medallion - $250,000
- Dr. Joseph Majure, professor and division chief of pediatrics
- Dr. Christopher Spankovich, professor of otolaryngology
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Early Career Investigator
- Joshua Speed, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics
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Richard L. Summers Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research
- Charlotte Hobbs, professor of pediatrics infectious disease
- Dr. Gailen Marshall Jr., R. Faser Triplett Sr. MD Chair in Allergy and Immunology
— — —
Meritorious Research Service – Faculty
- Jane Reckelhoff, professor and chair of cell and molecular biology
— — —
Translational Research Team
- Matthew Kutcher, assistant professor of surgery-trauma
- Ana Palei, assistant professor of surgery-trauma
- Frank Spradley, associate professor of surgery-transplant