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Emory dean and Emory HIV researcher honored with 2023 Health Care Heroes awards
Media Contact
Janet Christenbury
Emory Healthcare
Melanie Kieve
Emory School of Nursing
Linda McCauley and Boghuma Titanji

In the 2023 Health Care Heroes Awards from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dean Linda McCauley (left) received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Boghuma Titanji (right) was named the Health Care Innovator/Researcher winner.

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Business Chronicle has selected two Emory faculty members as winners of its 2023 Health Care Heroes awards.

Linda A. McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University, has been named the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Boghuma K. Titanji, MD, MSc, DTM&H, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, has been named the winner of the Health Care Innovator/Researcher category in this year’s Health Care Heroes program. Articles about McCauley and Titanji can be found in the Atlanta Business Chronicle online.

Linda A. McCauley: Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Since 2009, McCauley has served as dean of Emory’s School of Nursing and is considered one of the nation’s leading voices in nursing education. She has positioned the school at the forefront of nursing research, education and policy — emphasizing the potential of nurses as leaders in health care innovation and delivery.

Under her leadership, the Emory School of Nursing holds the esteemed position of No. 2 in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of both master’s and undergraduate programs. The Doctor of Nursing program is ranked sixth nationally. The school has been in the top five in National Institutes of Health funding for eight consecutive years. In 2022, the school received an impressive $15.4 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration for community-based health care and delivery programs directly impacting Atlanta and surrounding areas.

During McCauley’s tenure, the School of Nursing has experienced exponential growth in enrollment (161%), operating revenue (341%) and sponsored research revenue (173%). The school also has grown in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts with 23% of faculty, 53% of staff and 52% of students representing historically underrepresented groups.

With approximately 1,300 students and more than 10,000 alumni, McCauley has positioned the school for continued growth that focuses on meeting the profession’s emerging needs. In September 2022, McCauley led the school in opening the Emory Nursing Learning Center, a 70,000-square-foot facility in Decatur providing state-of-the-art simulation experiences and classroom spaces. The center also houses a professional development program in partnership with Emory Healthcare.

McCauley’s research centers on toxic exposures impacting groups underrepresented in the health sciences, including children, farmworkers, veterans, and Black and African American pregnant people. She has amassed $54 million in funding and published 140 studies for this research, which lies at the intersection of nursing and environmental and occupational health.

Boghuma K. Titanji: Health Care Innovator/Researcher Category Winner

Cameroonian-born Titanji is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory, where she focuses on HIV research. She came to Emory in 2016, completing her internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship, while also completing a research fellowship in infectious diseases at the VA Medical Center. She joined the Emory faculty in August 2022.

Titanji researches the mechanisms of chronic disease in people with HIV and how HIV as a virus drives inflammation contributing to cardiovascular disease. According to Titanji, patients with HIV have a two-fold risk of having a heart attack or stroke when compared to patients without HIV, and effective interventions aimed at reducing this risk for cardiovascular complications in people with HIV are limited.

Much of Titanji’s HIV research was disrupted during the pandemic. As an infectious disease researcher and clinician, she shifted her work to care for patients with COVID-19. She also became involved with Emory’s research into the repurposed antiviral drug, baricitinib, which was originally developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Baricitinib had previously been studied in clinical trials for HIV patients, in which Titanji participated. She shared her knowledge about baricitinib uses in HIV with her mentor at Emory, which following emergency use authorization, led to the drug being trialed in patients with COVID-19, with good results. 

Just as COVID-19 cases were beginning to decline in the summer of 2022, the U.S. saw another infectious disease on the rise — monkeypox, now renamed Mpox. Mpox is endemic in Cameroon, and Titanji previously cared for patients with Mpox in her native country. Again, her colleagues at Emory drew upon her expertise. She began speaking locally and nationally on Mpox, caring for patients with the disease and writing one of the first contemporary reviews for clinicians on how to best treat patients diagnosed with Mpox.

The physician-scientist has published numerous papers on HIV, COVID-19, Mpox and more. She has also made it her mission to share accurate information on social media about research findings and public health messaging related to these infectious diseases.

Titanji is very passionate about translating clinical research into policies that impact the lives of vulnerable patient populations, especially in Africa. In the future, Titanji hopes to combine translational research with clinical practice to influence health policy from a global health perspective, especially in the field of infectious diseases.

Congratulations to these two Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2023 Health Care Heroes! 

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