Main content
Auld and Jones honored with Albert E. Levy Award for Excellence in Scientific Research
Portraits of Auld and Levy

This year’s recipients of the Albert E. Levy Award for Excellence in Scientific Research are clinician-scientist Sara Auld (left), recipient of the Junior Faculty Award, and environmental health researcher Dean P. Jones, recipient of the Senior Faculty Award.

Clinician-scientist Sara Auld and environmental health researcher Dean P. Jones are this year’s recipients of the Albert E. Levy Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, established to recognize the contributions of Emory faculty members to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

The award was created by Edith Levy Elsas, a civic and academic activist, in memory of her father, Albert E. Levy, while she was a member of the Emory University Board of Visitors. The award is overseen by the University Research Committee (URC).

Each year the URC accepts nominations from the faculty at large in recognition of two faculty members, one junior and one senior, considered to be outstanding in their respective fields of research. 

Each awardee receives an honorarium in research funds: $1,000 for the Junior Faculty Award recipient and $2,000 for the Senior Faculty Award recipient. In addition to the honorariums, each awardee receives a trophy.

Originally overseen by Emory University's Sigma Xi, a scientific research honor society that encourages research communication across multiple scientific disciplines, the Levy Award program stopped for a period when the Emory chapter of Sigma Xi became inactive. In 2000, at the request of the benefactor, the Albert E. Levy Award was reinstated to be administered by the URC.

2022 Award Winners

Junior Faculty Award: Sara Auld

Sara Auld, MD, MSc, joined Emory as a Fellow in 2013 and became an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine in 2017; she holds a joint appointment at Rollins School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology.

As a clinician-scientist, her research interests have focused on clinical epidemiology and transmission of tuberculosis (TB) and drug-resistant TB, as well as TB and HIV co-infection.

In spring 2020, Auld focused her attention on COVID-19. One paper published in Critical Care Medicine determined mortality rates among critically ill adults with COVID-19 from March 6, 2020, to April 17, 2020, across six COVID-designated ICUs at three Emory Healthcare acute-care hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia. The article garnered numerous citations and informed clinical care in the ICU.

She was able to quickly collect, analyze and share data on the outstanding care provided in Emory’s ICUs. She has published 15 papers on COVID-19 while still maintaining an active and prolific research program on HIV and TB.

Auld is an exemplary researcher who stepped up when the world shut down not only to help patients directly but also through her research and publications.

Senior Faculty Award: Dean P. Jones

Dean P. Jones, PhD, joined the Emory faculty in 1985 and is currently professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. He holds joint and secondary appointments in the departments of biochemistry, ophthalmology and pediatrics along with Winship Cancer Institute. He currently is director of the Emory Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory, director of the Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core in the HERCULES Exposome Research Center, and co-director of the Center for Clinical and Molecular Nutrition.

Jones has conducted impactful and prolific research throughout his career at Emory.

His recent work describes the development and use of a high-resolution metabolomics platform that provides unsurpassed coverage of endogenous metabolites, microbiome and environmental pollutants. His group’s analytic methods have been used in numerous studies published in high-impact journals and have provided a long-lasting contribution to analytical sciences.

Through development and application of new computational tools and integrative omics, Jones has shown for the first time that high-resolution metabolomics data can directly link exposures to disease phenotype. Through collaborations with clinical investigators and epidemiologists studying a broad spectrum of human diseases — including lung, cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, intestinal, endocrine, neurologic, eye, infectious disease and cancer, as well as preterm and early development and aging — his group has extended applications of their analytic methods to address complex gene-environment interactions that underlie most human disease.

Overall, Jones’ work has enabled a new vision for environmental health and medicine and provided a foundation for research at the interplay of environmental exposures and biological effect.

Recent News