The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has selected the winners of fourteen awards that recognize exceptional researchers, scholars, innovators, students, and administrators, as a part of the annual Discovery and Innovation awards program.

Discovery & Innovation awardees

“It is an honor to celebrate our faculty, staff, postdocs, and students who are conducting high-impact research and scholarship, from labs and archives on our campus, to waterways and communities across our state, to outer space,” said Marty Scholtz, vice president for research. “Through this awards program, we also recognize the important work of translating research and scholarship for various public audiences, advancing research safety, administering research programs, and mentoring the next generation of researchers, scholars, and artists.”

Each fall, the OVPR solicits nominations from the campus community for the awards, which include: Scholar of the Year, Early Career Scholar of the Year, Leadership in Research, Graduate Student Excellence, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Excellence in Undergraduate Research, as well as awards that recognize distinguished achievement in communications, public engagement, arts and humanities, mentorship, research administration, research safety, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As a part of the annual awards program, the UI Research Foundation also recognizes researchers whose intellectual property was either patented, optioned, or licensed for further commercial development and use.

Faculty Awards

Greg Howes
Lea Vandervelde

Gregory Howes, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Lea VanderVelde, J.D., professor and Josephine R. Witte Chair in the College of Law, were named Scholars of the Year. 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-month period.

Caterina Lamuta
Kara Whitaker

Caterina Lamuta, Ph.D., assistant professor, mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, and Kara Whitaker, Ph.D., assistant professor of health and human physiology in CLAS, were named Early Career Scholars of the Year. The award honors assistant professors in tenure-track, research-track or clinical-track positions at the UI who are currently involved in research, scholarship and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field.

Jerald Schnoor

Jerry Schnoor, Ph.D., Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering in the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was given the Leadership in Research Award. This is a lifetime achievement award recognizing research and scholarly accomplishments over a career.

Ibrahim Demir

Ibrahim Demir, Ph.D., associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, was given the Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research award. 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.

Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos, MFA, associate professor in the CLAS Department of English, was given the Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research Award. This award honors distinguished achievement in humanities scholarship and work in the creative, visual and performing arts.

Kristy Nabhan-Warren

Kristy Nabhan-Warren, Ph.D., professor, V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair in Catholic Studies in the CLAS Department of Religious Studies and the Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, was given the Faculty Communicating Ideas Award. 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.

Man May Guo

Man “May” Guo, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Social Work and the Ph.D. program director, was awarded the Advancing Understanding in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize research, scholarship, or creative expression conducted within the past three-year period that advances our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Edward Sander
Li-chun Lin

Edward Sander, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Li-Chun (Queena) Lin, Ph.D., director of the Iowa NeuroBank Core, received the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) Distinguished Mentor Awards. The award honors the work that mentors put in to make their students’ experiences successful.

Staff Awards

Suzanne Bentler

Suzanne Bentler, Ph.D., director of operations and manager of the Iowa Cancer Registry - State Health Registry of Iowa in the College of Public Health was given the Distinguished Research Administrator Award. The award recognizes 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.

Charles Searby, research specialist the Carver College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics was named a Distinguished Research Professional. The award recognizes 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.

Safety Award

Emily Finzel
Ben Anzelc

Emily Finzel, Ph.D., associate professor in the CLAS Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Benjamin Anzelc, facilities and safety coordinator, School of Art and Art History, were given the Innovation in Safety Award, which celebrates exceptional and ground-breaking innovations that advance safety at the UI.

Postdoc Awards

Kyle Flippo
Yen Nguyen

Kyle Flippo, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in the CCOM Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, and Yen Nguyen, Ph.D., research assistant in the College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering were each given Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow Excellence Awards. This award honors postdoctoral research scholar and fellow research performance and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

Student Awards

Elizabeth Felix
Hae Zhou
Brady Krein
Dmytro Kravchuk

Four students were given Graduate Research Excellence Awards: Elizabeth Felix, Ph.D. candidate in the CLAS Department of Sociology and Criminology; Hao Zhou, M.F.A. student in the CLAS Department of Cinematic Arts; Brady Krien, Ph.D. candidate in the CLAS Department of English; and Dmytro Kravchuk, Ph.D. candidate in the CLAS Department of Chemistry. The Graduate Research Excellence Awards honor 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.

Behrens
Daniel Fu
Lydia Guo
Ben Hinz
Pedro Marra

Five students received Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduate’s Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards: Andrew Behrens, a biomedical engineering major and chemistry minor on the pre-medicine track; Daniel Fu, a biomedical sciences major and philosophy minor on the pre-medicine track; Lydia Guo, a biomedical sciences major and chemistry minor on the pre-medicine track; Ben Hinz, a biomedical engineering major and french minor on the pre-medicine track; and Pedro Marra, a biomedical sciences major on the pre-medicine track. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in scholarly investigation, artistic creation, or performance by undergraduates at the UI.

Licenses and Options

Licenses and options for calendar year 2021 are listed alphabetically by company name, followed by the names of the inventor(s)/creator(s) and their UI affiliation at the time the license/option was initiated. Some of those listed may no longer be with the university.

Advanced Prenatal Therapeutics Inc.

  • Donna Santillan, CCOM Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Mark Santillan, CCOM Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Justin Grobe, CCOM Departments of Neuroscience and Pharmacology; Anne Kwitek, CCOM Departments of Neuroscience and Pharmacology; Curt Sigmond, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Alloy Therapeutics, Inc.

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Bio-Techne Corporation

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Cell Signaling Technology

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Censo Biotechnologies, trading as Axol Bioscience Ltd.

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

CoverCress

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

CTC Genomics LLC

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Evogene Ltd.

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Firefly Pharma, Inc

  • Alexander Bassuk, CCOM Department of Pediatrics

Firefly Photonics, LLC

  • John Prineas, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy; Jonathon Olesberg, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy; Cassandra Bogh, CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy

GDM Genetica do Brasil S.A.

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

hC Bioscience, Inc.

  • Chris Ahern, CCOM Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics; John Lueck, CCOM Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Higher Learning Technologies (HLT)

  • Syeda Thomas, College of Nursing; Kelly Potter, College of Nursing; Francis Kuehnle, College of Nursing; Nicole Weathers, College of Nursing

ICW SPV 02, LLC

  • Denice Hodgson-Zingman, Iowa Cardiovascular Center; Leonid Zingman, Iowa Cardiovascular Center

Innolea SAS

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

INSEER Inc.

  • Seungyeob Baek, Industrial and Systems Engineering; Jean Robillard, CCOM Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics; Nathan Fethke, Occupational and Environmental Health; Joseph (Jody) Buckwalter, CCOM Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

LIRECAP, Inc

  • Sue Blackwell, CCOM Department of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation; Suresh Veeramani, CCOM Department of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation; Paloma Giangrande, CCOM Department of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation; William Thiel, CCOM Department of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation; George Weiner, CCOM Department of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation

Logomix, Inc.

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Rodeo Therapeutics Corporation

  • Andrew Pieper, CCOM Department of Psychiatry

Sakata Seed Corporation

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Senseion, LLC

  • Rajan Sah, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Litao Xie, CCOM Department of Cardiovascular Medicine; Susheel Gunasekar, CCOM Department of Cardiovascular Medicine

SpineThera, Inc.

  • Robert Felder, CCOM Department  of Internal Medicine; Aliasger Salem, Pharmaceutics and Translational Therapeutics; Youssef Ibrahim, Pharmaceutics and Translational Therapeutics

TAKII & CO.,LTD

  • Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

University of Manchester

  • Jerald Moon, CLAS Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders; Wendy Fick, CLAS Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

University College London

  • Lane Strathearn, CCOM Department of Pediatrics

University of Washington

  • Jerald Moon, CLAS Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders; Wendy Fick, CLAS Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

  • Xingshen Sun, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; John Engelhardt, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology;  Ziying Yan, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology;

ViewPoint Molecular Targeting, Inc.

  • Michael Schultz, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Yousef Zakharia, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Virtual Systems Engineering

  • R. Marler, Mechanical Engineering; Herman Reininga, Center for Computer-Aided Design; Ben Goerdt, Center for Computer-Aided Design; Matt Butler, Center for Computer-Aided Design; Matt Denney, Mechanical Engineering; Ross Johnson, Center for Computer-Aided Design

Patents

U.S. patents for calendar year 2021 are listed with the names of all UI patent holders. UI affiliations are based on the dates when the patents were originally filed; some patent holders may no longer be with the university. 

Automated Determination of Arteriovenous Ratio in Images of Blood Vessels: Xiayu Xu, Biomedical Engineering; Meindert Niemeijer, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Michael Abramoff, CCOM Department of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences; Milan Sonka, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Methods and Compositions for Treating Amyloid Deposits: Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Methods and Compositions for Treating Brain Diseases: Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Luis Tecedor, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Yong-Hong Chen, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Methods and Reagents for Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Gregory Hageman, CCOM Department of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences

Methods for Inhibiting Muscle Atrophy: Christopher Adams, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Michael Welsh, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Steven Kunkel, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Clubfoot Orthotic: Nicole Grosland, Biomedical Engineering; Jose Morcuende, CCOM Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation; Thomas Cook, CCOM Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Methods and Systems for Augmentative and Alternative Communications: Richard Hurtig, CLAS Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Controlled Position Electrode Array: Marlan Hansen, CCOM Department of Otolaryngology; Christopher Kaufmann, CCOM Department of Otolaryngology

Methods and Systems for Augmentative and Alternative Communications: Zihan Zhu, Biomedical Engineering; Benjamin Berkowitz, Biomedical Engineering; Blake Martinson, Mechnical Engineering

Oligonucleotide-Based Probes and Methods for Detection of Microbes: James McNamara, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Katie Flenker, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Alexander Horswill, CCOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Elliot Burghardt, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Frank Hernandez, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Karen Clark, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Methods to Generate Epithelial Cells: Brad Amendt, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Thad Sharp, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Thymol and Carvacol for Use in Medicine: Rajan Sah, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Metabolically Stabilized Double Stranded mRNA: Kevin Rice, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; Samuel Crowley, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics

Methods of Delivery of Transgenes for Treating Brain Diseases: Beverly Davidson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine, Megan Keiser, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Methods and Reagents for Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Gregory Hageman, CCOM Department of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences

Systems and Methods for Cardiovascular Conditioning: Denice Hodgson-Zingman, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine, Leonid Zingman, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Methods of Producing Biosynthetic Bacterial Cellulose Membranes: Vijay Kumar, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; Madhavan Raghavan, Biomedical Engineering; Chaid Schwarz, Biomedical Engineering

Devices, Systems and Methods Utilizing Framelet-Based Iterative Maximum-Likelihood Reconstruction Algorithms in Spectral CT: Wenxiang Cong, CCOM Department of Radiology; Yangbo Ye, CLAS Department of Mathematics; Ge Wang, CCOM Department of Radiology

A Rotating Shield Brachtherapy System: Ryan Flynn, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology; Hossein Dadkhah, Biomedical Engineering; Kaustubh Patwardhan, Biomedical Engineering; Myung Cho, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electrospun Nanofiber Composites for Water Treatment Applications: Gene Parkin, Civil and Environmental Engineering; David Cwiertny, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Katherine Greenstein, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Compositions and Methods of Treating Melanoma: Michael Schultz, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Mengshi Li, CCOM Department of Radiology; Frances Johnson, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Somya Kapoor, CCOM Department of Radiation Oncology

Compositions and Methods for Detecting Predisposition to Cardiovascular Disease: Robert Philibert, CCOM Department of Psychiatry; Meeshanthini Dogan, Biomedical Engineering

Compositions and Methods of Treating Melanoma: Dongyoul Lee, CCOM Department of Radiology; Molly Martin, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics

Quinolone-based Compounds with Anticancer Activity: Robert Kerns, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics; Tyrel Towle, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics

Bocaparvovirus Small Noncoding RNA and Uses Thereof: John Engelhardt, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Ziying Yan, CCOM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Use of NAD Precursors for Breast Enhancement: Charles Brenner, CCOM Department of Biochemistry; Marie Migaud, CCOM Department of Biochemistry; Ankita Chadda, CCOM Department of Biochemistry; Po Hien Ear, CCOM Department of Biochemistry; Amy Sindler, CLAS Department of Health and Human Physiology

Nucleic Acid Aptamers: Sue Blackwell, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Suresh Veeramani, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; Paloma Giangrande, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; William Thiel, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine; George Weiner, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Novel Systems and Methods for Airway Tree Segmentation: Punam Saha, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Eric Hoffman, Biomedical Engineering; Syed Ahmed Nadeem, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Triazole Bisphosphonate Geranylgeranyl Diphosphate Synthase Inhibitors: David Wiemer, CLAS Department of Chemistry; Sarah Holstein, CCOM Department of Internal Medicine

Surfactant Assisted Synthesis of Surface Functionalized Nanoparticle Polymer Electrospun Composites: Gene Parkin, Civil and Environmental Engineering; David Cwiertny, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Katherine Greenstein, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Katherine Peter, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Thoracoscopic Irrigation Cannula: Evgeny Arshava, CCOM Department of Surgery

Therapeutic Systems Using Magnetic and Electric Fields: Michael Miller, CLAS Department of Chemistry; Val Sheffield, CCOM Department of Pediatrics; Calvin Carter, CCOM Department of Neurology; Sunny Huang, CCOM Department of Pediatrics; Charles Searby, CCOM Department of Pediatrics

Pattern and Delay Recovery with Higher-order Spectra: Christopher Kovach, CCOM Department of Neurosurgery

Wheel for Railway Vehicle: Hiroyuki Sugiyama, Mechanical Engineering; Christofer Feldmeier, Mechanical Engineering

Separations Using Boron Containing Hydrocarbon Sponges: Leonard MacGillivray, CLAS Department of Chemistry; Gonzalo Campillo-Alvarado, CLAS Department of Chemistry

Compositions and Methods for Stimulating Ventilatory and/or Respiratory Drive: Stephen Lewis, CCOM Departments of Neuroscience and Pharmacology; James Bates, CCOM Department of Anesthesia

 

Contacts: 

Leslie Revaux, Interim Director of Strategic Communications, 319-335-2131