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Acclaim: Recent honors for Emory faculty and staff

Emory faculty and staff are frequently recognized for their work locally, nationally and internationally. The following is a sampling of recent accolades, including awards for professional contributions and leadership appointments.

Honors highlighted in this column:


Points of Light recognizes Beshad’s service

Emory Eye Center ophthalmologist Soroosh Behshad was awarded the Daily Point of Light Award by the Points of Light, a nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes individuals and organizations to take action that changes the world.

Behshad is a cataract and cornea surgeon and serves as Emory Eye Center’s chief of service at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. He is very active with the Eye Center’s global ophthalmology program and has traveled internationally multiple times to perform specialized eye surgeries and train local doctors on cataract and corneal surgical techniques. In 2020, he was recognized by the Kingdom of Jordan for his service and work developing a sustainable refugee eye care program. Read more.


Christie named professional society vice president

Jennifer Christie has been named vice president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. In this role, she will serve one of the leading gastrointestinal (GI) professional societies internationally, with more than 14,000 members.

Christie is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Digestive Diseases at the Emory School of Medicine and Clinical Director of Digestive Diseases for The Emory Clinic. She is also director of Gastrointestinal Motility.

Read more here.


Prestigious Beckman Young Investigator Award given to Davis

Katherine Davis, assistant professor of chemistry, has been selected for a 2021 Beckman Young Investigator Award. The award program provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of their academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.

The Davis lab works to shine light on the synergy between metalloenzyme structure and electronics.


Historian Gross named Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Professor of African American studies Kali Gross has been named one of 26 recipients of the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. Each fellow receives $200,000 to fund significant research and writing in social sciences and the humanities that addresses important and enduring issues confronting society.

Gross’s Carnegie project will shed examine capital punishment in the United States through the histories of Black women disproportionately condemned. She aims “to better understand how it is that Black women became so grossly overrepresented among those put to death in the United States, especially by means of the electric chair.” Learn more.


Klibanoff’s “Buried Truths” podcast garners ABA award

The American Bar Association has selected “Buried Truths Season 3 | Ahmaud Arbery” to receive the 2021 ABA Silver Gavel Award for Radio.

“Buried Truths” is a podcast led by Hank Klibanoff, professor of practice in English and creative writing, and produced by Atlanta NPR station WABE. The podcast is based on the work of students participating in Emory’s Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, an undergraduate class led by Klibanoff.  Season three of the podcast, which won the award, focused on the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed a 25-year-old Black man who was pursued by three armed white men near the coastal city of Brunswick.

The awards are presented by the American Bar Association and recognize outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. A virtual ceremony honoring all Silver Gavel Award winners will be July 13.


Kwok honored with award from Archbishop of Canterbury

Dean’s Professor of Systematic Theology Kwok Pui Lan has been named a recipient of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2021 Lambeth Awards for outstanding contributions to the church and wider society. 

Kwok won The Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship, which was given for her outstanding leadership and contribution to Asian Feminist and Post-Colonial Theology rooted in an Anglican ecclesiology.

The 2021 Lambeth Awards were given to over 30 individuals, including scientists, musicians, academics, activists, peacemakers, doctors, and clergy. Learn more.


Ramalingam named Winship executive director, editor of Cancer

Suresh S. Ramalingam has been named executive director of Winship Cancer Institute after serving as Winship’s deputy director since 2016. He also has been named the new editor-in-chief of Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

A thoracic oncologist and physician scientist, Ramalingam will begin a five-year editorship on July 1. Ramalingam is internationally recognized for his research, specifically for the development of individualized therapies for patients with small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.

As executive director, Ramalingam will continue to lead efforts to extend local access to cancer research and care at Emory Healthcare's six hospitals throughout metro Atlanta.

In addition to his Winship duties, Ramalingam serves as assistant dean for cancer research at Emory University School of Medicine, where he is also professor of hematology and medical oncology, director of the Division of Medical Oncology, and the Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research.

He has worked with CANCER as the editor for the journal's Chest and Lung Disease, Clinical Trials, and Medical Oncology sections since 2011.

Read more here.


NINDS honors Sober with Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship

Samuel Sober has been honored with a 2021 Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Each year, NINDS selects up to five Landis Awardees from among faculty members who have shown dedication to superior mentorship and training in neuroscience research. Awardees receive a supplement to an existing NINDS grant to support their efforts in fostering the career advancement of additional trainees.

Sober is an assistant professor of biology. His research investigates the relationship between neural activity, muscular activation and task performance to describe how neural circuits drive vocal output and are modified by sensorimotor experience.


American Heart Association establishes award in Wenger’s honor

The American Heart Association has named a new award after Nanette Wenger to recognize and honor her pioneering career in cardiovascular medicine.

Wenger  is an emeritus professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Emory School of Medicine, consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center, founding consultant to the Emory Women’s Heart Center and director of the Cardiac Clinics and Ambulatory Electrocardiographic Laboratory at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Wenger was among the first physicians to focus on coronary heart disease in women and to evaluate the different cardiovascular risk factors, symptoms and conditions for women compared to men. The award is known as the Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Award for Best Scientific Publication on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Women. Read the announcement.


Five Emory professors elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Five Emory University faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. 

Elected this year are:

  • Rafi Ahmed, director, Emory Vaccine Center, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Vaccine Research, and Charles Howard Candler Professor, Emory School of Medicine
  • Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair, Department of African American Studies
  • Jericho Brown, Winship Distinguished Research Professor in Creative Writing and Director, Creative Writing Program
  • Sanjay Gupta, associate professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Emory School of Medicine, and associate chief of neurosurgery, Grady Memorial Hospital
  • Vanessa Siddle Walker, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American and Educational Studies

The Emory professors are among 252 newly-elected members of the American Academy, which was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good. Read more about the honorees.


‘Your Fantastic Mind’ television series wins six Emmy Awards

"Your Fantastic Mind," a television series partnership between the Emory Brain Health Center and Georgia Public Broadcasting, was recognized with six Emmy awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Southeast Chapter. The awards are from the show’s 2020 season:

"Your Fantastic Mind" is a weekly news magazine-style show that highlights compelling patient stories and cutting-edge science and treatment advances in the areas of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, rehabilitation medicine and sleep medicine. The show is made possible with funding assistance from the Southern Company Charitable Foundation.


Postdoctoral fellows receive support from Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Three postdoctoral fellows — Maureen McGuirk Sampson, Kaela S. Singleton and Brandon Franklin Young — have received funding through the Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (PDEP) of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. PDEP provides funds over three years to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in a degree-granting institution in the U.S. or Canada. The awardees’ training and professional development must be guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research.

Sampson is studying human genetics; Singleton, cell biology; and Young, biochemistry.

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