Tulane Researchers Honored at the 2023 Tulane Research, Scholarship, and Artistic Achievement Awards Ceremony

Emcee Meg Farris welcomes guests at the 2023 Research, Scholarship, and Artistic Achievement Awards. (Photo by Sabree Hill)

At Tulane University's annual Research, Scholarship, and Artistic Achievement Awards Ceremony, the spotlight was firmly on the university’s dedicated faculty and their groundbreaking accomplishments. Held this past Friday, Nov. 3, in downtown New Orleans, the event celebrated 27 award recipients across 15 award categories, honoring faculty for their continuing dedication to impactful research that bridges academic and societal needs.

President Michael A. Fitts welcomed attendees and recognized the significance of Tulane faculty's impressive work. “Each and every person in this room should take tremendous pride in Tulane’s university-wide research portfolio. Fiscal year 2023 saw Tulanians garner over $200 million in research funding – obliterating the previous year’s historic total.”

Emcee and medical reporter Meg Farris set the tone for the celebratory evening, emphasizing how Tulane's education and research are so distinctive because of the university's singular history, location, and culture. To kick off the evening, Farris welcomed to the stage Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte, Vice President for Research for Tulane University and Professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the School of Medicine.

“Over the past few years, Tulane funding for research, scholarship, and artistic activities has increased ... an extraordinary accomplishment you all should be proud of. Years 2020, 2021, and 2022 - the COVID pandemic years - were all record years for total and federal funding, as well as for the number of applications submitted by our faculty,” remarked Piedimonte before kicking off the awards portion of the ceremony.

President Fitts recognized three recipients of the university’s Hall of Fame Award, the highest award of the evening. The honorees, John Perdew, PhD, Robert Garry, PhD, and Lisa Fauci, PhD, gave remarks to the crowd of Tulanians and researchers, thanking colleagues, family members, and Tulane administration for their support over the course of their careers.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robin Forman also honored numerous recipients, celebrating faculty members not only for their research achievements but also for their mentorship, collaboration, and dedication to addressing social inequities.

Faculty members were celebrated for their contributions in diverse fields, further emphasizing how Tulane’s research environment is conducive to translational research. The evening was a testament to Tulane University’s pursuit of knowledge that is both academically rigorous and non sibi, sed suis, “Not for oneself, but for one's own.”

Below are the 2023 recipients of the Research, Scholarship, and Artistic Achievement Awards:

2023 Hall of Fame Award

This prestigious lifetime achievement award recognizes a national and internationally renowned scholar/investigator who has made substantial contributions to advancing knowledge over his/her/their academic career.

John Perdew, professor, Science and Engineering
Robert Garry, professor, Medicine
Lisa Fauci, Pendergraft NOLA Lee Haynes Professor, Science and Engineering

2023 Spirit of Tulane Research Award

This award recognizes outstanding achievement during the prior calendar year of a scholar/investigator whose work embodies Tulane’s motto: Non sibi, sed suis (Not for oneself, but for one’s own) while enhancing the research mission through education, creative expression, mentorship, and collaborative effort to advance knowledge.

Laila Hlass, Law
Denys Bondar, James MacLaren Early Career Professor of Physics, Science and Engineering
Margarita Jover, Architecture
Charles Figley, Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health, Social Work

2023 Innovation Award

This award recognizes a scholar/investigator who develops novel ideas, approaches and insights through his/her/their interdisciplinary scholarship to address clinical, public health, or societal challenges.

Robert Blair, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Medicine
Kirsten Dorans, Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Claire Senot, Albert Lechter Early Career Professorship in Business Administration, Business

2023 Entrepreneurship Award

This award is given to the individual faculty member whose contribution to entrepreneurship is reflected in a record of sustained entrepreneurship and new venture creation.

Wayne Reed, Murchison-Mallory Professor, Science and Engineering

2023 IP Innovator Award

This award recognizes the faculty member who develops new patentable intellectual property that leads to or is expected to lead to a licensable technology or commercialization event.

Dawn Wesson, Public Health and Tropical Medicine

2023 Galaxy Award

This award recognizes substantial achievement of a scholar/investigator who has a strong five-year history of funding and of enhancing Tulane’s research mission through scholarship, education, mentorship, and collaborative efforts.

Jill Daniel, Gary P. Dohanich Professor in Brain Science, Science and Engineering
Tony Hu, Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation, Medicine

2023 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
This award recognizes a scholar for excellence in research that addresses societal inequalities and promotes social change. Some indicators of excellence include extramural support of related research and dissemination of findings through high-quality peer-reviewed publications and national or international presentations that address societal inequities and promote social change. Broader impacts of EDI refer to the extent to which research advances participation of historically marginalized groups, promotes understanding of EDI, addresses societal inequities, develops community engagement and partnerships, distributes findings widely to support board research understanding, and/or innovate social change.

Patrick Button, Liberal Arts
Manuel Ocasio, Medicine

2023 Funding Awards

These awards recognize a) the scholar/investigator in the STEM fields who has been awarded the largest combined dollar amount of funding for direct costs during the prior calendar year; and b) an artist/scholar/investigator in the non-STEM fields who has been awarded the largest combined dollar amount of funding for direct costs during the prior calendar year.

(STEM) Dr. Lydia BazzanoLynda B. and Leighton Steward Professor in Nutrition Research, Public Health and Tropical Medicine
(Non-STEM) Kelly McClure, Professional Advancement

2023 Convergence Award

This award recognizes a Tulane scholar or team of scholars who successfully collaborate across schools, units, and departments to surpass traditional academic disciplines and further the research mission.

Hong-Wen Deng, Aron Family Endowed Chair, Medicine
Michael Burke, Earl P. and Ethel B. Koerner Chair of Strategy and Entrepreneurship; Charles Atwood Professorship; Lawrence Martin Chair, Business

2023 Student/Trainee Research Mentoring Award

This award recognizes an exceptional research mentor.

James Huck, Liberal Arts
Saru Matambanadzo, Moise S. Steeg Jr. Associate Professor of Law, Law

2023 Rising Star Award

This award recognizes the works of an assistant professor, within five years of appointment to Tulane, who demonstrates exceptional growth and impact in one or more research areas.

Nicholas Mattei, Science and Engineering
Changwei Li, Public Health and Tropical Medicine

2023 Citation Award

This award recognizes the Tulane author of the peer-reviewed article with the highest number of citations during the prior calendar year. The recipient must be the corresponding author and Tulane must be the corresponding institution.

Dr. Joe Iwanaga, Medicine

2023 Publication Awards

This award is designed to honor scholars and investigators at Tulane University for their exceptional contributions to academic literature by acknowledging the best journal article published in the preceding calendar year and the best book published within 24 months of the award selection date, which occurs annually in August. These awards recognize significant contributions to the scholarly record at the intersection of impact, merit, and relevance.

(Journal Article) Tracy Fischer, Medicine and Tulane National Primate Research Center
(Book) Yuri Herrera-Gutiérrez, Liberal Arts.

For more information about Tulane University's Office of Research, visit research.tulane.edu.