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Administration honors faculty at Celebration of Faculty Excellence

by UofL Today last modified Sep 18, 2012 01:40 PM

President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz recently honored faculty for their scholarship, research, creative activity and teaching at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence.

They presented the President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards, the President’s Multicultural Teaching Award and the Community Engagement Award. They also honored new endowed faculty and a new university scholar and faculty and staff whose work has resulted in U.S. patents, licenses or options.

The longstanding campus event took place Sept. 11 during State of the University Week. These people received awards and recognition. Information comes from the president’s office.

Distinguished Faculty Awards

The president’s office gives multiple Distinguished Faculty Award in three categories. Winners receive a medallion and a check for $1,000. They will also be featured on campus banners later this year.

Outstanding Scholarship, Research & Creative Activity

Basic and Applied Sciences
Ramesh Gupta, School of Medicine

Gupta holds the Agnes Brown Duggan Chair in Oncological Research. He is a Distinguished University Scholar and professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. NIH grants, the Duggan Endowment and James Graham Brown Cancer Center have supported his research. Gupta has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, 20 book chapters and more than 225 abstracts. Scholars have cited his research articles more than 6,000 times.

Social Sciences
Laura Rothstein, Brandeis School of Law

Rothstein has written a substantial body of scholarship on disability discrimination issues. As a founding scholar in the field, her work has guided both scholars and policymakers and advocates in their work. She considers herself to be an advocate through education with the goal of making others aware of what the law requires so that they can constructively implement policies of access and equity.

Humanities
Aaron Jaffe, College of Arts and Sciences

Jaffe is a professor in the Department of English. His research and teaching interests are broadly interdisciplinary and engage Anglophone modernist literature and contemporary literary and cultural theory. He has written numerous articles, essays and book chapters and co-edited two collections. Jaffe has won several research fellowships supporting his most recent writing project, including an Alexander von Humboldt Research award.

Creative and Performing Arts
Dallas Tidwell, School of Music

Tidwell is an active performer as an orchestral, chamber and solo musician. He has been featured on numerous recordings, premieres and commissioned works.

Career Achievement
Hank Savitch, College of Arts and Sciences

Savitch has been an active scholar and teacher in the field of urban policy and planning for more than 40 years. His 11 books and roughly 100 articles have received widespread attention and he has mentored scores of graduate students. Savitch specializes in comparative urban developments and has worked in West Europe and Israel. He now devotes his energies toward bringing attention to challenges facing the Global South, especially East Asia and Latin America.

Service

Service to UofL
Enid Trucios-Haynes, Brandeis School of Law

Trucios-Haynes has been the University Faculty Grievance Officer since 2010. This year she also has served on the President’s Budget Advisory Committee and the Provost’s Ad-Hoc Committee on New Faculty Grievance. She also has been on the Faculty Senate, and served on its executive Redbook committees; the Commission on Diversity & Racial Equality; the Latin American and Latino Studies Program Steering Group; and the President’s Community Engagement Steering Committee.

Service to the Profession
Goetz Kloecker, School of Medicine

Kloecker is an associate professor in the Department of Hematology and Oncology. As a physician he specializes in caring for lung cancer patients. He was instrumental in establishing the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic and serves as its director. The Lung Cancer Clinic allows patients to benefit from the expertise of a medical and surgical oncologist, a pathologist and a radiation oncologist with additional support from a pharmacist, dietician, social worker and a behavioral oncologist.

Service to the Community, Commonwealth and the Region
Theresa Mayfield, School of Dentistry

Mayfield has a strong personal and professional commitment to the delivery of patient-centered care. She has provided dental care community outreach for the Ryan White HIV program in Kentucky over the past 10 years with a commitment to care with compassion and understanding. The program design has received federal funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration for many years, and is one of only 12 in the country.

Career of Service
Mary Ann Stenger, College of Arts and Sciences

Stenger taught at all levels of the university for 35 years. Her service has ranged from the departmental level to her college and the entire university. She has been involved in service to the local community as well as having national and international involvement. Stenger played a key role in developing the Humanities Division program and PhD, the University Honors Program, the Women’s and Genders Studies department, and the Religious Studies program. She also has performed service and research as a scholar of the German-American theologian, Paul Tillich.

President’s Distinguished Faculty Award in Teaching

Distinguished Teaching Professor
Karen Kopelson, College of Arts and Sciences

Kopelson is an associate professor in the English department. She also is director of Graduate Studies in English. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, literary studies, composition theory and critical theory. Students see Kopelson as both demanding and popular. She sets high standards, but she also recieves outstanding student evaluations.

Distinguished Teaching Professor
Lars Smith, Brandeis School of Law

Smith is the Samuel J. Stallings Professor of Law. He teaches in the areas of intellectual property, business and commercial law. Smith is particularly interested in helping students build practice skills, and he incorporates various practice-based exercises in his Trademark Law and Business Planning courses to do so. In 2011, he received a Fulbright to teach in China. He taught Chinese masters of law students about U.S. intellectual property law.

Part-time Teaching Professor
Kathleen Karr, School of Music

Karr teaches flute. Her goals as an educator are to facilitate a student’s expressive capabilities; develop teamwork and cooperation; teach students to cope with frustration; practice good communication skills; and apply these skills to a successful creative performance. Karr strives to teach her students to teach themselves, so that they may have the skills to eventually pass knowledge onto their own students.

President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award

The award is given each year to a member of the university teaching staff who has incorporated multicultural and global perspectives into his or her scholarship, teaching practices and research.

Manuel Medina,
College of Arts and Sciences

Medina is a professor in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages. His main areas of teaching and research include Latin American and U.S. Latino narrative and film. He also directs the Brazilian Studies Program. Medina initiated UofL’s Day of the Dead celebration. What was a one-day event on understanding death from a different cultural perspective has grown into a weeklong program. According to his nominator, “Dr. Medina is a University of Louisville treasure. He tends to the business of teaching, scholarship, and service with vitality, imagination, resourcefulness and dedication, constantly working at the highest level and seeking to give to his students the best he has to offer.”

Outstanding Community Engagement Award

This award recognizes faculty, staff, students and community partners who are involved in outstanding community engagement service. A monetary award of $2,500 goes to recipients engaged in exemplary community engagement activities such as volunteerism, community-based learning, outreach, partnerships, curricular engagement or community-based research. Winners received their prizes in October 2011, after the 2011 Celebration of Faculty Excellence.

Brian Barnes,College of Arts and Sciences
Three years ago Brian began planning and building the UofL food waste composting project. It is staffed entirely by volunteers and has liberated more than 50 tons of compostable trash from area landfills. The Community Engagement Award monetary prize Barnes received last year went to begin the Panama Water Training School with cooperation from Quality Leadership University in Panama City and Waterstep, a locally based international water purification and humanitarian relief organization.

Newly Endowed Faculty

A decade ago UofL had 54 endowed posts. The number has almost tripled since then. Today there are 150. Administration credits this growth to donors and the highly successful Research Challenge Trust Fund – otherwise known as “Bucks for Brains,” which receives funding support from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Jun Yan, School of Medicine,chair in translational research
Yan is a faculty member in the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and a professor in the Department of Medicine. His research had determined that a novel immune cell — called a gamma deltaT cell — plays a critical role in the development of psoriasis by producing a large amount of the inflammation inducing factor IL-17. Yan hopes to regulate these immune cells and determine how blocking their pathway decreases skin inflammation. This information could lead to a new strategy for treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

University Scholar

The goal of the University Scholar and Distinguished Scholar Program is to recruit new faculty scholars and retain existing faculty members who demonstrate superior creativity and scholarship in their fields of expertise. Since the program began in 1995, UofL has awarded 102 University and Distinguished University Scholars. Deans nominate faculty for the honor. A faculty committee reviews nominations and the president approves them.

Ashok Kumar, School of Medicine
Kumar is a professor of anatomical sciences and neurobiology and a leading researcher in the field of skeletal muscle biology. His research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle development and atrophy. He has contributed significantly to understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms in muscular dystrophy and the potential use of muscle stem cells in treatment of various muscle disorders. Two NIH RO1 awards and a research grant from Muscular Dystrophy Association support his work.

Faculty members whose creative work has resulted in U.S. licenses, patents and options

A patent is a grant made by a government that confers upon the creator of an invention the sole right to make, use and sell that invention for a set period of time. It protects the “concept” or “idea” behind the invention.

Patents

Bill Pierce, executive vice president for research and innovation, and Grant Taylor, College of Arts and Sciences, for novel compounds for the treatment of bone disorders and conditions, including osteoporosis. They also developed a unique bone-targeting technology that directs the delivery of the therapeutic compounds specifically to the bone.

Julia Aebersold, Michael Martin and Kevin Walsh, JB Speed School of Engineering, for devices and methods for concentrating trace vapor analytes from explosives, chemical agents and other sources for subsequent delivery to a chemical detector.

Scott Cambron, Douglas Jackson, Robert Keynton, Michael Martin, John Naber, Thomas Roussel and Kevin Walsh, JB Speed School of Engineering, for an interchangeable assembly that allows for rapid sequential insertion and removal of packaged analytical preconcentrators into stacked configurations to concentrate particulate or vapor analytes prior to desorption into an explosive detection system.

Mark Crain, Robert Keynton, John Naber, Thomas Roussel, Kevin Walsh and Douglas Jackson, JB Speed School of Engineering; Danielle Franco and Richard Baldwin, College of Arts and Sciences, for a multi-capillary electrophoresis system with electrochemical detection on a single platform capable of simultaneously separating and detecting multiple chemical analytes.

Brian Clem, John Trent, Jason Chesney and Sucheta Telang, School of Medicine and Brown Cancer Center, for methods to inhibit cancer by targeting an enzyme that functions in the metabolism of sugar. Cancer increases metabolism by stimulating the growth and proliferation of cells. Inhibition of the enzymes involved in this process has emerged as a potential target for cancer therapy. They identified compounds that inhibit this metabolic pathway, serving as new methods to treat cancer in patients.

Aly Farag, JB Speed School of Engineering, for a new framework for computing three-dimensional curve skeletons of objects which can handle both 2D and 3D shapes of various complexities, is fully automatic, less sensitive to boundary noise, and generated skeletons can be connected and centered — and can, for example, serve as the flight path of a virtual colonoscopy; and for a multi-capillary electrophoresis system with electrochemical detection on a single platform capable of simultaneously separating and detecting multiple chemical analytes.

Aly Farag and Ayman El-Baz, JB Speed School of Engineering, for a system for detecting nodules in CT scans of various tissues, including, but not limited to, the lung. The technology enables early cancer screening and diagnosis by detecting very small tumors.

Gina Bertocci and Karen Frost, JB Speed School of Engineering, for a pressure ulcer prevention garment for canines with chronic mobility impairment.

Francis Zamborini, College of Arts and Sciences, for sensors that incorporate metal nanoparticles to enhance conductivity, which quickly increases upon exposure to low levels of volatile organic compounds. The utility of these sensors ranges from detecting environmental pollutants and explosive vapors to medical diagnostic applications; and for nanoparticle sensors for rapid detection of hydrogen down to parts-per-million levels. These sensors are particularly useful for monitoring the storage and release of hydrogen from fuel cells.

Francis Zamborini, College of Arts and Sciences; Robert Cohn and Brigitte Fasciotto, Speed School of Engineering, for a method for individually and selectively growing and orienting long and flexible metal nanoneedles at designated locations on selected surfaces.

Paula Bates, Donald Miller, and John Trent, School of Medicine and the Brown Cancer Center, for methods for treating tumors and cancer in a patient with a therapeutically effective amount of an antibody or similar inhibitor of the protein, nucleolin. Nucleolin is a protein that is active in growing cells, making it a good target for cancer therapy.

Paula Bates, School of Medicine; Gerald Hammond and Bo Xu, College of Arts and Sciences, for discovery and development of novel small molecule compounds with potent anti-cancer growth activities. These related compounds inhibit the growth of multiple types of cancer cells. These compounds also reduce the growth of lung, colon and other cancers in animal models yet exhibit fewer side effects than standard chemotherapeutic agents.

Farrukh Aqil, Ramesh Gupta and Manicka Vadhanam, School of Medicine, for a novel approach to delivering anti-cancer agents to solid tumors involving the implant of small biodegradable cylindrical devices loaded with various anti-cancer agents into the tumors. The implanted devices deliver sustained low doses of the anti-cancer therapy to the nearby tumor cells and in this way greatly reduce any drug side effects in the patient.

Jon Klein and Michael Merchant, School of Medicine, for minimally invasive biomarkers to predict the onset of kidney disease prior to detectable kidney damage. A clinical test incorporating these markers could allow early interventions to preserve kidney function in patients.

Haval Shirwan, School of Medicine, for an invention that relates to the persistent modification of cell membranes so as to alter the function of the cells. The compositions and methods of this invention achieve effects similar to those of gene therapy without the introduction of exogenous DNA.

Haval Shirwan and Esma Yolcu, School of Medicine, for various compositions and methods used to generate or enhance an immune response, including an immune response against an antigen. The composition could be useful to treat many diseases or conditions including cancer, influenza and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Donald Demuth, School of Dentistry, for novel peptides that inhibit and destroy oral biofilms, specifically P. gingivalis. The compositions are well-suited for topical administration in dental applications, and could be delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash or chewing gum.

Licenses

A license is the agreement that allows the outside party to move forward to develop, distribute and sell an innovation in the commercial market.

Paula Bates, Donald Miller, and John Trent, Brown Cancer Center. An exclusive license with CharlestonPharma focused on developing innovative therapeutic products for cancer patients and health care providers. The company has exclusively licensed technology from UofL related to the diagnosis and treatment of tumors through the detection and inhibition of the protein, Nucleolin.

Cicek Gercel-Taylor and Douglas Taylor, School of Medicine. An exclusive license with NX PharmaGen, a small company focused on personalized medicine methods for cancer, prenatal care and other conditions. The company exclusively licensed several UofL technologies that relate to the isolation and characterization of exosome-derived protein biomarkers for the detection and diagnosis of several different types of cancer and conditions of pregnancy.

Jay Hoying, Amanda LeBlanc and Stuart Williams, School of Medicine. An exclusive license with Tissue Genesis, Inc. for a biocompatible patch incorporating a three-dimensional tissue construct with adipose-derived stem cells. When applied to a damaged heart, the patch preserves cardiac structure and function.

Jun Yan, School of Medicine. A non-exclusive license with Wuhan KangMai Biotechnology Ltd. that focuses on developing antibodies to the epithelial mucin known as “MUC1.” MUC1 is a large glycoprotein that is overexpressed in many types of cancer, including colon, breast, gastric and lung. A biotechnology company in China, Wuhan Kangmai Biotechnology, has licensed Yan’s MUC1 antibody for its commercial development as a valuable research reagent.

Lung-Tsiong Yam, School of Medicine, and Ranganathan Parthasarathy, College of Arts and Sciences. A non-exclusive license with Hycult Biotech for a research assay for detecting a specific Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoform. The assay has applications for investigating inflammatory responses to various diseases.

Kim Noltemeyer, business affairs, Dennis Sullivan, environmental health and safety, and Titus Anderson, information technology. A non-exclusive license with 17 instituions of higher education for the Cardsafety App for the iPhone and Droid. It is a smartphone application that provides emergency procedures, interactive maps, an automatic dialer for Safety Escorts, University Police and 911, information regarding crimes & crime prevention, and links to emergency websites. It was distributed to other universities to provide a basis from which they could build their own apps.

Options

An option is an agreement whereby UofL allows another party (usually a business alliance) limited access to a technology for a limited time in exchange for compensation. The business uses this loan period to determine if it would like to enter into a full license for the intellectual property.

Sham Kakar, School of Medicine, with NanoMark, a research and development company focused on cancer therapies. The company signed an exclusive option agreement to the UofL’s targeted nanoparticle-based method of cancer therapy. Being targeted to specific cancer cells, initial results demonstrate that this method of cancer therapy appears to reduce the drug dosage level with minimal or no side effects.

Xiao-An Fu, Teresa Whei-Mei Fan, Richard Higashi and Michael Nantz, College of Arts and Sciences; and Andrew Lane, School of Medicine, with Bayard Donaldson, et. al. Their work has led to the development an innovative approach for breath analysis using microfabricated preconcentrators. These devices are capable of analyzing extremely low concentrations of airborne organic compounds both qualitatively and quantitatively. They are useful for analysis in such areas as the research and diagnosis of disease, routine air quality monitoring and the trace detection of harmful chemicals. One of the Entrepreneurship MBA student teams at the UofL School of Business will handle the technology’s initial commercial development.

Claudio Maldonado and Michael Voor, School of Medicine, with Vivorte LLC. for a bone graft substitute material incorporating compounds to accelerate healing and remodeling. The enhanced material reduces the need for rapid new blood vessel formation and resultant oxygen delivery.

Christopher Paterson, School of Medicine, Gamini Sumanasekera, College of Arts and Sciences, and Mahendra Sunkara, JB Speed School of Engineering, with Advanced Energy Materials LLC, a Louisville-based start-up company established in 2010 for a portfolio of nanowire-based materials and processes developed in Sunkara’s UofL lab. The portfolio of energy efficiency technologies will form the basis of the company’s development of nanowire and nanoparticles suitable for industrial applications in the renewal energy sector.

Mary Jane Elliott and Suzanne Ildstad, School of Medicine, with Regenerex LLC, for a method to enhance the number of the actual cell type that facilitates an organ transplant match. They have been successful in using these facilitating cells for organ transplants and for other critical diseases and conditions. The local company has signed an exclusive option agreement to several of Ildstad’s human facilitating cell technologies with the goal of developing the technologies for wider clinical use to help more patients with life-threatening conditions.

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