Like much else this spring, the Office of the Vice President’s annual Celebrating Excellence awards event had to be tabled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Robotics research
While glasses weren’t raised on April 28, when the awards program was scheduled to take place at Hancher, OVPR still wants to recognize, faculty, staff, and students who stand out for their commitment to discovery, their shepherding of young students, their entrepreneurship, their gifts as research communicators, and their support of the campus research enterprise.

As part of a “virtual celebration,” information about the award recipients, including patent, license, and option recipients, are featured on a spotlight website, which includes a congratulatory video message from Vice President for Research Marty Scholtz.

“It’s probably more important than ever to remind ourselves that despite challenging times, University of Iowa researchers and scholars continue to accomplish great things,” Scholtz said. “That so many have been able to maintain their work remotely is further testament to their adaptability and commitment to creating new knowledge and answering important questions of the day.”

Names of those recognized this year are listed below, starting with awardees selected by OVPR and the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), followed by patent, license, and option recipients.

Scholar of the Year

Craig Kletzing, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS). The award celebrates nationally recognized recent achievement in outstanding research, scholarly and/or creative activities by tenure- and/or research-clinical-track faculty members within the previous 24 months.

Early Career Scholar of the Year       

Gregory LeFevre, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, College of Engineering. The award honors assistant professors in tenure-track, research-track or clinical-track at the University of Iowa who are currently involved in research, scholarship and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field.

Early Career Scholar of the Year       

Michelle Voss, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, CLAS. The award honors assistant professors in tenure-track, research-track or clinical-track at the University of Iowa who are currently involved in research, scholarship and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field. 

Leadership in Research         

Steven Levy, Wright-Bush-Shreves Endowed Professor of Research, Preventative and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry. The award is a lifetime achievement award recognizing research and scholarly accomplishments over a career.

Leadership in Research         

Aliasger Salem, Bighley Professor and Division Head, Division of Pharmaceutics and Translational Therapeutics, College of Pharmacy. This lifetime achievement award recognizes research and scholarly accomplishments over a career.   

Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research 

Kate Magsamen-Conrad, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, CLAS. The 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.   

Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research       

Steven Ungar, Professor, Department of Cinematic Arts, CLAS. The award recognizes distinguished achievement in humanities scholarship and work in the creative, visual and performing arts.

Faculty Communicating Ideas Award           

Sarah Bond, Associate Professor, Department of History, CLAS. This award 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.       

Distinguished Mentor Awards The Iowa Center for Undergraduates (ICRU) created this award to recognize the work that mentors put in to make their student's experiences successful. There were two recipients:

  • Elizabeth Stone, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, CLAS.
  • Stephanie Gilbertson-White, Associate Professor, College of Nursing.        

Distinguished Research Administrator Award        

Rob Svetly, Research Administrator, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health. This award is given annually to recognize staff members who performed exceptional service in support of research at the University of Iowa by exploring funding opportunities, assisting in grant proposal preparation, submission, post-award administration, and operational support.         

Distinguished Research Professional Award

Yelena Perkhounkova, Statistician/Biostatistician Manager, College of Nursing. The award is given annually to recognize staff members who performed exceptional service in support of research at the University of Iowa by conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing results and performing operational duties associated with a laboratory or research program.

Innovation in Laboratory Safety Award       

Edward Gillan, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, CLAS. The award celebrates exceptional and ground-breaking innovations that advance safety in academic research laboratories.  

Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow Excellence Award 

James Dooley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, CLAS. The award honors Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow (FP01, FP02) research performance and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award The Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award (EURA) recognizes outstanding accomplishments in scholarly investigation, artistic creation, or performance by undergraduates at the University of Iowa.  These awards are granted annually to undergraduates with a strong academic record who have shown great promise for a future career in research through their work with faculty and staff mentors.

  • Benjamin Kirk  Junior, B.S., Biomedical Sciences, CLAS.
  • Jade Miller, Junior, B.S. Biochemistry, CLAS.
  • Marissa Mueller, Junior, B.S.E., Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering    
  • Guowei Qi, Junior, B.S.  Biochemistry; B.S. Mathematics, B.A. Computer Science Biochemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, CLAS.
  • Olivia Westemeier, Junior, B.S. Psychology, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, CLAS.

Graduate Research Excellence Award 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. Eligible students shall have completed a minimum of two years of graduate work in the current program of study and doctoral students must be post comp.        

  • William Hacker, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, CCOM.
  • Subin Paul, Graduate Teaching Assistant, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, CLAS.                                                                             

Patents

The following patents were issued in calendar year 2019. Patents are listed alphabetically by last name of patent holder, title, department/college, patent title(s), and country or countries which issued the patent.

Michael Abramoff, The Robert C. Watzke, MD Professor in Retina Research Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, UI Carver College of Medicine (CCOM):

  • “Automated Assessment of Glaucoma Loss from Optical Coherence Tomography,” United States
  • “Automated Separation of Binary Overlapping Trees,” United States
  • “Graph Search Using Non-Euclidean Deformed Graph,” United States

Christopher Adams, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Chair, Internal Medicine, “Methods for Inhibiting Muscle Atrophy,” Australia, Israel

Brad Amendt, Professor, Anatomy & Cell Biology, CCOM;

  • “MicroRNA Inhibitor System and Methods of Use Thereof,” United States
  • "Microrna-200 Based Approaches for Modulating Bone Formation Inhibition and Bone Regeneration," United States

Donald Anderson, Richard and Jan Johnston Chair in Orthopedic Biomechanics, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, CCOM, College of Engineering, “Precise, Low-cost Orthopaedic Surgical Simulator,” United States

Benjamin Berkowitz, Former Graduate Research Assistant, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, “Methods and Systems for Augmentative and Alternative Communications,” United States

Ryan Boudreau, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM:

  • “Modified Adeno-Associate Virus Vector Compositions,” Russia, Australia
  • “Therapeutic Compounds,” Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom

Marc Brouillette, Project Engineer, Orthopaedic Surgery, CCOM, “Preventative Therapy for Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis,” United States

Luis Vargas Buonfiglio, Resident, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Lung Injury Repair Compositions and Methods,” United States

Huojun Cao, Assistant Professor, Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research, College of Dentistry, “MicroRNA Inhibitor System and Methods of Use Thereof,” United States

Karen Clark, Graduate Student, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Oligonucleotide-Based Probes for Detection of Bacterial Nucleases,” Europe, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom,

Mitchell Coleman, Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, CCOM, “Preventative Therapy for Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis  ,” United States

Alejandro Comellas Freymond, Clinical Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Lung Injury Repair Compositions and Methods,” United States

Christopher Cooper, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Professor of Urology and Pediatrics, CCOM, “Bladder Health Monitoring System and Related Methods and Devices,” United States

Satheesh Elangovan, Professor, Periodontics, College of Dentistry, “RNA Based Biomaterial for Tissue Engineering Applications,” United States

John Engelhardt, Roy J. Carver Chair in Molecular Medicine Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Anatomy & Cell Biology, CCOM, “Chimeric Adeno-Associated Virus/Bocavirus Parvovirus Vector,” Australia, Austria, China, Europe, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom

Ryan Flynn, Director of Medical Physics Division and Clinical Professor, Radiation Oncology, CCOM, “Method and System for Dynamically-trimmed Spot Scanning for Ion Therapy,” Japan

Mona Garvin, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, “Automated Separation of Binary Overlapping Trees,” United States

Marlan Hansen, Professor of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, CCOM, “Controlled Position Electrode Array,” Austria, Europe, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Michael Henry, Professor, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, CCOM, “Fluid Handling Systems for Application of Fluid Shear Stress to a Fluid Sample,” Europe

Liu Hong, Associate Professor, Craniofacial Anomalies Research Center, CCOM, Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research, College of Dentistry: 

  • “MicroRNA Inhibitor System and Methods of Use Thereof,” United States
  • “Microrna-200 Based Approaches for Modulating Bone Formation Inhibition and Bone Regeneration,” United States

Daniel Hyer, Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology, CCOM, “Method and System for Dynamically-trimmed Spot Scanning for Ion Therapy,” Japan

Yusung Kim, Clinical Professor, Radiation Oncology, CCOM:

  • “Marker-Flange for MRI-Guided Brachytherapy,” United States
  • “Real-Time Application Position Monitoring System,” United States

Benjamin Krog, Former Graduate Research Assistant and Intern, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, “Fluid Handling Systems for Application of Fluid Shear Stress to a Fluid Sample,” Europe

Adisa Kuburas, Research Specialist/Lab Manager, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, CCOM:

  • “Use of ANti-CGRP of Anti-CGRP_R Antibodies or Antibody Fragments to Treat or Prevent Chronic and Acute Forms of Diarrhea,” Eurasian Patent Organization, Europe, Mexico
  • “Use of Anti-CGRP Antibodies and Antibody Fragment to Prevent or Inhibit Photophobia or Light Aversion in Subjects in Need Thereof, Especially Migraine Sufferers,” Australia, Denmark, Europe, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Xiaopeng Li, Research Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Lung Injury Repair Compositions and Methods,” United States

Tae-Hong Lim, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, “Preventative Therapy for Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis,” United States

James Martin, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, “Preventative Therapy for Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis,” United States

James McLinden, Associate Research Scientist, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Viral RNA Segments as Immunomodulatory Agents and Vaccine Components,” United States

James McNamara, Former Associate Professor. Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Oligonucleotide-Based Probes for Detection of Bacterial Nucleases,” Belgium, Europe, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Steven Mickelsen, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Catheters, Catheter Systems, and Methods for Puncturing Through a Tissue Structure and Ablating a Tissue Region,” United Kingdom

Robert Mutel, Professor, Physics & Astronomy, CLAS, “Miniature Grism System for Astronomical Spectroscopy,” United States

Andrew Russo, Professor, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, CCOM:

  • “Use of ANti-CGRP of Anti-CGRP_R Antibodies or Antibody Fragments to Treat or Prevent Chronic and Acute Forms of Diarrhea,” Europe, Mexico, Eurasian Patent Organization
  • “Use of Antio-CGRP Antibodies and Antibody Fragment to Prevent or Inhibit Photophobia or Light Aversion in Subjects in Need Thereof, Especially Migraine Sufferers,” Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Aliasger Salem, Bighley Professor and Division Head, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics, CCOM, College of Pharmacy:

  • “Methods for Treating Tumors in situ Including Intratumor Injection of Cytotoxic Particles and Immune Checkpoint Blockade Therapy,” United States
  • “Microrna-200 Based Approaches for Modulating Bone Formation Inhibition and Bone Regeneration,” United States
  • “RNA Based Biomaterial for Tissue Engineering Applications,” United States

Mark Santillan, Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, CCOM, “Prediction Tools to Predict Onset of Preeclampsia,” Europe, Germany

Milan Sonka, Lowell C. Battershell Chair in Biomedical Engineering; Co-director, Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging; Director, Iowa Initiative for Artificial Intelligence; Professor,Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, “Automated Assessment of Glaucoma Loss from Optical Coherence Tomography,” United States

Jack Stapleton, Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Viral RNA Segments as Immunomodulatory Agents and Vaccine Components,” United States

David Stoltz, Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Transgenic Pig Models of Cystic Fibrosis,” Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Europe, Germany, Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom

Geb Thomas, Professor, Mechanical Engineering. College of Engineering, “Precise, Low-cost Orthopaedic Surgical Simulator,” United States

Sarah Vigmostad, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, “Fluid Handling Systems for Application of Fluid Shear Stress to a Fluid Sample,” Europe

Timothy Waldron, Associate of Radiation Oncology, Radiation Oncology, CCOM, “Real-Time Application Position Monitoring System,” United States

George Weiner , CE Block Chair of Cancer Research; Director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center; Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Methods for Treating Tumors in situ Including Intratumor Injection of Cytotoxic Particles and Immune Checkpoint Blockade Therapy,” United States

Michael Welsh, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; Pappajohn Biomedical Institute Director, Professor; Internal Medicine, CCOM:

  • “Methods for Inhibiting Muscle Atrophy,” Israel, Australia
  • “Transgenic Pig Models of Cystic Fibrosis,” Europe, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom

Xiaodong Wu, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Graph Search Using Non-Euclidean Deformed Graph, United States

Junyi Xia, Former Assistant Professor , Radiation Oncology, CCOM, “Real-Time Application Position Monitoring System,” United States

Jinhua  Xiang, Associate Research Scientist, Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Viral RNA Segments as Immunomodulatory Agents and Vaccine Components,” United States

Ziying Yan, Research Associate Professor, Anatomy & Cell Biology, CCOM, “Chimeric Adeno-Associated Virus/Bocavirus Parvovirus Vector,” Australia, China, Europe, Japan, Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom

Yangbo Ye, Professor, Department of Mathematics, CLAS, “Devices, Systems and Methods Utilizing Framelet-Based Iterative Maximum-Likelihood Reconstruction Algorithms in Spectral CT,” United States

Joseph Zabner, Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Occupational Medicine; Professor of Internal Medicine, CCOM, “Lung Injury Repair Compositions and Methods,” United States

Sanam Zarei, Former Howard Huges Medical Institute Fellow, Campbell Laboratory, CCOM, “Bladder Health Monitoring System and Related Methods and Devices,” United States

Licenses

“A Technique to Restore Natural Stochastic Independence to the Deafened Auditory Nerve”:

  • Paul Abbas, Former Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders, CLAS
  • Carolyn Brown , Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders, CLAS
  • Richard Tyler, Staff Scientist, Otolaryngology, CCOM

“Antibodies licensed to UBI - Nov. 1, 1994,” Kevin Campbell, Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Research Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, CCOM

“B6.129S6-Sgcatm2Kcam/J A loxP-flanked neomycin resistance cassette blocks expression of a His77Cys (H77C) missense mutation introduced into exon 3 of the sarcoglycan, alpha (dystrophin-associated glycoprotein) gene,” Kevin Campbell, Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Research Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, CCOM

“Arshava Transhiatal Mediastinal Retractor,” Evgeny Arshava, Clinical Associate Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, CCOM

“Clubfoot Bracing System”:

  • Thomas Cook, Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health
  • Nicole Grosland, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Jose Morcuende, Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Carver College of Medicine

“Marker-less System and Method to Evaluate Kinematic Movement of the Hands and to Mitigate Work-related Musculoskeletal Hand Injuries”:

  • Seungyeob Baek, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Joseph Buckwalter, Assistant Professor. Orthopaedic Surgery, CCOM
  • Nathan Fethke, Associate Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health  
  • Jean Robillard, Former Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, CCOM

“Means and Method for Transdural Stimulation of the Spinal Cord”:

  • Logan Helland, Resident, Neurosurgery, CCOM
  • Matthew Howard, John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, CCOM
  • Saul Wilson, Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery, CCOM
  • Royce Woodroffe, Resident, Neurosurgery  CCOM

“Method and System for Differentiating More Pathogenic S. Aureus Strains Among Commonly Isolated Intraoperative Multilocus Sequence Types,” Randy Loftus, Associate Professor, Anesthesia Randy Loftus, Associate Professor, Anesthesia, CCOM           

“Nicotinoyl Ribosides and Derivatives for the Improvement of Maternal and Neonatal Health”:

  • Charles Brenner, Professor, Biochemistry, CCOM
  • Po Hien Ear, Research Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, CCOM

“Remotely Controlled Devices for Direct Spinal Cord Stimulation”:

  • Timothy Brennan, Emeritus Professor, Anesthesia, CCOM
  • Hiroyuki Oya, Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, CCOM
  • Chandan Reddy, Former Resident, Neurosurgery, CCOM

“System and Method for Identifying and Pacifying a Potential School Shooter,” Karim Abdel-Malek, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering    

“System and Method for Identifying and Pacifying a Potential School Shooter”:

  • Seungyeob Baek, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering        , College of Engineering
  • Rajan Bhatt, Adjunct Associated Professor, Center for Computer-Aided Design, College of Engineering   
  • Kimberly Farrell, Software Engineer, Center for Computer-Aided Design, College of Engineering 

“Tcf7-Reporter Mice (B6(Cg)-Tcf7tm1Hhx/J),” Hai-Hui Xue, Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, CCOM

“Visual Function Questionnaire”:

  • Arlene Drack, Ronald V. Keech, MD, Professor in Ophthalmic Genetics, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, CCOM
  • Stephen Russell, Dina J Schrage Professor of Macular Degeneration Research, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, CCOM

Options

“A Composite Biodegradable Device Capable of Sequential and Local Release of Vitamin D, Insulin and Gene Therapy to Promote Bone Regeneration in Diabetics”:

  • John Femino, Clinical Professor, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, CCOM
  • Douglas Fredericks, Research Specialist, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, CCOM
  • Behnoush Khorsand Sourkohi, Research Specialist, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Pharmacy
  • Aliasger Salem, Bighley Professor and Division Head Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Pharmacy     

“Deep Learning System for Lung CT Lobar Fissure Analysis”:

  • Sarah Gerard, Former Student, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Joseph Reinhardt, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering       

“Design and Synthesis of a Potent Anticancer Agent ZJ101,” Zhendong Jin, Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy  

“Freeze-And-Grow: An Airway Tree Segmentation Tool”:

  • Syed Ahmed Nadeem, Graduate Research Assistant, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Eric Hoffman, Professor, Radiology, CCOM
  • Punam Saha, Professor Radiology, CCOM

“Ion Channel Modulators for the Treatment of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)”:

  • Susheel Gunasekar, Research Scholar, Internal Medicine, CCOM
  • Rajan Sah, Former Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, CCOM

“Regional Pulmonary V/Q via Image Registration and Multi-Energy CT”:

  • Changhyun Lee, Clinical Assistant Professor Radiology, CCOM
  • Amin Motahari Bidgoli, Assistant Research Scientist, Radiology, CCOM

The Office of the Vice President for Research provides researchers and scholars with resources, guidance, and inspiration to secure funding, collaborate, innovate, and forge frontiers of discovery that benefit everyone. More at http://research.uiowa.edu, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover.