The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development held its “Celebrating Excellence: Discovery and Innovation Awards Ceremony” on Wednesday, April 13. 

The annual event (photos of which may be found here) recognizes faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars/fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students and mentors who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments to research in their field. Also recognized are faculty and student innovators working to take their research to market as startups, products, and medical treatments.

UI Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dan Reed called the awards event “a time when we pause, look around and recognize the truly remarkable accomplishments of our colleagues – faculty, staff and students.”

“It truly is the time when we ‘Dare to Discover,’ celebrating the life of the mind and its importance to our society,” said Reed, who presented the awards along with UI President Bruce Harreld and Senior Associate Vice President for Research Richard Hichwa. “What we do expands our human understanding. Solves problems. Changes lives. Saves lives, in some cases.

“It’s imperative we celebrate this and not just among ourselves,” Reed added. “We must shout proudly it from the rooftops. It matters, like never before.”

Each of the winners received a commemorative gift and a cash award for themselves or their departments. View photos of award winners and presenters here.

This year, 20 awards were given, as well as the 2015 Faculty/Staff Startup Award, listed below:

Faculty Research Awards

Leadership in Research Award: Recognizes distinguished leadership research and scholarly accomplishments over a career

  • Donald Heistad, M.D., Zahn Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine

Scholar of the Year Award: Recognizes outstanding research, scholarly and/or creative activities by tenured and/or research/clinical track faculty members

  • Mark S. Blumberg, Ph.D., F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Early Career Scholar of the Year Award: Recognizes tenure-track, research-track or clinical-track faculty members within their first seven years post Ph.D. and within five years of service at the University of Iowa and who are currently involved in research, scholarship and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field

  • Matthew Potthoff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Carver College of Medicine

Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research Award: Recognizes an individual faculty member who has put addressing public needs and direct engagement with the public in the service of improving quality of life through research at the forefront of his or her academic activities

  • Richard Tyler Priest, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Departments of History and Geographical & Sustainability Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Distinguished Achievements in Arts and Humanities Research: Recognizes distinguished achievement in humanities scholarship and work in the creative, visual and performing arts

  • Dorothy Johnson, Ph.D., Professor, School of Art & Art History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Faculty Communicating Ideas Award (new): Recognizes excellence in communication about research and scholarship in the sciences and humanities and the study of creative, visual and performing arts to a general audience directly or via print and electronic media.

  • Amy Lee, Ph.D., Professor/Assistant Dean for Research, Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Carver College of Medicine

Staff Awards

Distinguished Research Administrator Award: Recognizes a staff member who supports research by exploring funding opportunities, assisting in grant proposal preparation, submission, post-award administration and operational support.

  • Gail Ardery, Research Manager, Health Services Research, College of Pharmacy

Distinguished Research Professional Award: Recognizes a staff member who provides support for research by conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing results and performing operational duties associated with a laboratory or research program.

  • Philip Karp, Director, In Vitro Culture Care, Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine

Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow Research Excellence Award: This award honors postdoctoral scholar/fellow research performance and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

  • Katherine Hadlandsmyth, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nursing Research Center, College of Nursing

Graduate Student Research Excellence Awards

Graduate Research Excellence in fine arts, humanities and social sciences: This award honors students in terminal degree programs conducting research and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

  • Gregory Stoutenburg, Presidential Graduate Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Graduate Research Excellence in biology, life, mathematical and physical sciences: This award honors students in terminal degree programs conducting research and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

  • Andrew Nelson, Presidential Graduate Research Fellow, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology, Graduate College

New Student Innovator Awards

Student Innovator Awards: This award honors undergraduate and/or graduate students conducting research/scholarly innovation or new technology development that is recognized as highly original work and has led to intellectual property.

  • Andrew Knight, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Kasra Zarei, Undergraduate and Graduate Research Associate, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering

Undergraduate Research Excellence Awards & Mentor Awards

Excellence in Undergraduate Research

  • Maya Amjadi, Junior, Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine

  • Nicholas McCarty, Junior, Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine

  • Rae Corrigan, Junior, College of Nursing

  • Tamar Kavlashvili, Junior, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carver College of Medicine

  • Danny Linggonegoro, Junior, Department of Pharmacology, Carver College of Medicine

Distinguished Mentor Award

  • Scott Baalrud, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Mahmoud Abou Alaiwa, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine

2015 Student Startup of the Year Awards

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Lohman Earth Works

  • SwineTech

​​​​​​​2015 Faculty/Staff Startup of the Year Award

  • Immortagen, LLC

Also recognized were 2015 license and option recipients and patent recipients.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development provides resources and support to researchers and scholars at the University of Iowa and to businesses across Iowa with the goal of forging new frontiers of discovery and innovation and promoting a culture of creativity that benefits the campus, the state, and the world. More at http://research.uiowa.edu, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover.