Nine faculty members in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health received awards, fellowships, and research funding from the university for the 2021-2022 academic year.
One was honored with a Kellett Mid-Career Award, three received H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowships, and one was appointed a WARF Named Professorship. Two earned a Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards, and another earned a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship. In addition, one faculty member is the lead investigator on a project funded through the latest round of the Research Forward program.
“Our faculty’s continued selection for UW–Madison’s most prestigious honors highlights their incredibly impactful advancement of our missions of research, service, and education,” said Dean Robert N. Golden, MD. “Congratulations to these outstanding colleagues and their collaborators, including the staff, students, and fellow faculty members who contribute to their success.”
Some of the awards are made possible because of discoveries by UW–Madison faculty and staff that lead to patent-protected inventions. Intellectual property that arises from these efforts is licensed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), and the resulting royalty income is shared between the inventor group, their department, and an investment portfolio that benefits the university by generating a stream of income used to provide WARF’s annual grant to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, where it is used to fund research activities, including some of these awards.
Kellett Mid-Career Award
Kellett Mid-Career Awards support those who are seven to 20 years past their first promotion to a tenured position. The award was created to provide support and encouragement to faculty at a critical stage of their careers. The honor, named for the late William R. Kellett, a former president of the WARF board of trustees and president of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, comes with $75,000 that may be spent over five years.
Christina Kendziorski, PhD, professor of biostatistics and medical informatics. She develops statistical methods and software for genomic based studies of development and disease and is known for her widely used methods for RNA-sequencing studies. Kendziorski has also collaborated with companies including Nimblegen, ThirdWave Technologies, Eli Lilly, and Merck Pharmaceuticals.
H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship
The H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowships recognize faculty within their first six years from promotion to a tenured position. The award is named in recognition of the late WARF trustees president H.I. Romnes and comes with $60,000 that may be spent over five years.
Andrew Mehle, PhD, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology. His lab studies the battle between cells and influenza virus, focusing on how the virus exploits cellular processes, evades cellular defenses, and repurposes cellular machinery.
Sushmita Roy, PhD, associate professor of biostatistics and medical informatics and faculty at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Her research focuses on computational methods to advance our understanding of the molecular basis of processes such as development, disease, and evolution.
Nathan Sherer, PhD, professor of oncology and molecular virology and director of the UW–Madison Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Graduate Program. He studies the cell biology underpinning the replication of HIV and other viruses.
WARF Named Professorships
WARF Named Professorships, which come with $100,000, honor faculty who have made major contributions to the advancement of knowledge, primarily through their research endeavors and also as a result of their teaching and service activities. Award recipients choose the names associated with their professorships.
Shannon Kenney, MD, Eva Therman Professor of Oncology, Wattawa Bascom Professor in Cancer Research, and professor of oncology and medicine. She studies the molecular regulation and pathogenesis of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a virus that causes human cancers. Her research serves as a basis for potential new treatments of EBV-induced tumors.
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships
The Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships recognize distinguished scholarship as well as standout efforts in teaching and service. The professorship provides five years of flexible funding, two-thirds of which is provided by the Office of the Provost through the generosity of the Vilas trustees and one-third provided by the school or college whose dean nominated the winner. These awards are supported by the estate of professor, U.S. senator, and UW Regent William F. Vilas (1840-1908).
Shigeki Miyamoto, PhD, professor of oncology. He studies cell signaling and what occurs when cells are no longer able to communicate effectively. His lab is interested in how nuclear stress conditions, such as DNA damage, induce signaling events in cells, as well as how cancer cells use signaling mechanisms for their growth and survival advantages to evade anticancer drug effects.
Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards
The Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Awards recognize research and teaching excellence. The award provides flexible research funding for three years. These awards are supported by the estate of professor, U.S. senator, and UW Regent William F. Vilas (1840-1908).
Anjon Audhya, PhD, professor of biomolecular chemistry and the School of Medicine and Public Health’s senior associate dean for basic research, biotechnology, and graduate studies. He studies fundamental mechanisms by which membrane proteins, lipids, and other macromolecules are transported throughout eukaryotic cells. His work uses interdisciplinary approaches and a variety of model systems to identify how biological membranes are manipulated in cells to enable organelle function and cargo transport.
Carey E. Gleason
Carey E. Gleason, PhD, MS, associate professor of medicine. She is a clinical neuropsychologist who focuses on the care of geriatrics patients with memory disorders. Her specialties include comprehensive geriatric assessments and memory assessments, and differential diagnosis of dementia. Her research aims to improve timely identification of and intervention for memory disorders in underserved communities.
Research Forward is a program to stimulate innovative and groundbreaking research at UW–Madison that is collaborative, multidisciplinary and potentially transformative. The Research Forward initiative is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and is supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which provides funding for one or two years, depending on the needs and scope of the project.
Bo Liu, PhD, professor of surgery. She studies the biology of blood vessels, and her Research Forward project is titled “Development of 3D-Printed Piezoelectric Stents with Self-Powered Anti-Restenosis Properties.” The project seeks to propose a stent that has self-generated electrical potential that can resist cell buildup without the need for drugs.