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Research Week celebrates outstanding faculty and staff systemwide

WSU’s fifth annual Research Week culminated with a celebration of faculty and staff who exemplify research excellence on Friday, Oct. 15. 

Hosted by the Office of Research, the Research Week Awards Ceremony kicked off with a welcome from Christopher Keane, vice president for research at WSU and vice chancellor for research at WSU Pullman. 

“We are excited to recognize the outstanding research, scholarship, and creative activities conducted by WSU faculty, staff, and students. We are also excited to recognize the faculty and students that participated in this year’s Research Week competitions. The awards demonstrate the wide range of research conducted throughout the WSU system,” said Keane. “Congratulations to this year’s winners.” 

Provost Elizabeth Chilton presented faculty and staff with their awards for outstanding achievements, contributions, and service in research development and research administration. Winners from the Research Week competitions held throughout the week were also recognized. 

Faculty Research Awards

  • Boyang (Jason) Wu, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received the Pacesetter Award: Life and Health Sciences for his research on fundamental molecular understanding of the development, progression and metastasis of prostate cancer and the development of novel and effective therapeutic strategies for aggressive variants of the disease. 
  • Anamika Dubey, assistant professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received the Pacesetter Award: Physical Sciences and Engineering for her research in optimization and control of electric power distribution systems with a focus on integration of grid-edge technologies. 
  • Shannon Tushingham, an anthropological archaeologist, received the Creative Activity, Research, and Scholarship Award for her interdisciplinary and collaborative research on human environmental dynamics and the archeology of hunter, gatherer, and fishers in western North America. 
  • Juming Tang, food engineer from the Department of Biosystems Engineering, received the Technology with Impactful Contribution to Society Award for his development of high temperature short-time thermal processes to produce high quality shelf stable food products and pathogen controlled chilled ready-to-eat meals. 
  • Ryan Driskell, assistant professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, received the Large New Individual Grant Award for a $1.6 million Department of Health and Human Services-National Institutes of Health grant to study the synergy between skin regeneration and anti-aging by inducing Lef1 expression fibroblasts. 
  • M. Kariuki Njenga, professor in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health and country director of the WSU Global Health Program in Kenya, received the Large New Team Grant Award for a Department of Health and Human Services- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant with an expected total of $9.7 million to enhance preparedness and response to communicable diseases in Kenya. 
  • Jim Brozik, professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the Exceptional Service to the Office of Research Award for frequently contributing to the Office of Research as a proposal reviewer for the New Faculty Seed Grant and other internal competitions. 

Grants and Contracts Support Awards

  • Suzanne Hamada, principal assistant in the Composite Materials and Engineering Center 
    (CMEC), received the Grant and Contract Administration Service Recognition Award for her excellence in serving the CMEC in grant preparation, project administration, general office administration, budget planning and monitoring, and personnel administration. 
  • Lynda Olin, project specialist at WSU Vancouver, received the Grant and Contract Administration Service Recognition Award for her outstanding initiative and proactive issue resolution as a grant and contract administrator. 
  • Denise Crossler, fiscal analyst in the Murrow College of Communications, received the Grant and Contract Administration Contribution Recognition Award for 11 years of support to every principal investigator in the college. 
  • Christine Galbreath, Carrie Johnston, and Ty Simanson, business systems analysts, received the Grant and Contract Administration Contribution Recognition Award for their professionalism and remarkable customer service as the Modernization Grants Team, providing significant contributions to the success of the Workday system implementation. 

Research Week Competition Winners

Multi-disciplinary Grant Competition Award – First place award will receive $50,000 plus a doctoral-level research assistantship provided by the Graduate School. Second place award will receive $20,000.

  • First place – Manoj Karkee, associate professor of Biological Systems Engineering 
  • Second place – Mona Ghandi, assistant professor of architecture

RA and $10K Competition Award – First and second place winners will receive $10,000 and a doctoral-level Research Assistantship (RA) for the Spring 2022 semester. Third place winner will receive $10,000. 

  • First place – Wipawee “Joy” Winuthayanon, associate professor of the School of Molecular Biosciences and director of the Center for Reproductive Biology
  • Second place – Bert Tanner, associate professor of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
  • Third place – Allison Coffin, associate professor of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Undergraduate Research Grant Competition Award – First place award receives $1,500 scholarship for the student and $5,000 for the faculty mentor overseeing the project. The second place award receives $1,500 scholarship for the student. 

  • First place – Emily Dale, student in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, and Allison Coffin, associate professor in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
  • Second place – Olivia Molano, student in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Undergraduate Research Presentation Award – Top three presenters receive a $500 scholarship

  • Keegan Sanchez, student in the School of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Sean Thompson, student in the School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Daisy Yang, student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Zoom recordings for this year’s events are now available to watch on the Research Week 2021 website

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