November 1, 2016

School of Medicine celebrates outstanding faculty members

(Professor Noreen Rossi, center, accepts the Kamran S. Moghissi, M.D., Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching from Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development Virginia Delaney-Black, M.D., M.P.H., and Interim Chair of Internal Medicine Basim Dubaybo, M.D.)

The Wayne State University School of Medicine recognized outstanding members of its faculty during the annual Faculty Recognition and Awards Ceremony.

Celebrated Nov. 1 in the schoolâs Margherio Family Conference Center, the ceremony included the presentation of College Teaching Awards and Research Excellence Awards.

Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development Virginia Delaney-Black, M.D., M.P.H., welcomed the award winners and their guests before distributing the awards.

âWe touch the future as teachers,â said Vice Dean of Medical Education Richard Baker, M.D., who welcomed the faculty and guests. âThink about that for just a second. Your interaction with your students actually reaches into and changes the future. The spark that you kindle in students will go on to affect the lives of millions of patients you will never meet. The desire for knowledge that you share with students in your lab may one day reverberate in the development of a new treatment regimen, a new drug, perhaps even a new vaccine or cure. This very day you may be cultivating a Nobel Prize winner. All of this lies in your hands and in your hearts.â

College Teaching Awards are presented to faculty based on the evaluation of instructional expertise as evaluated by students in the undergraduate medical education program, residents in the graduate medical education programs and graduate students, as well as the department chairs' annual evaluation and other factors.

Research Excellence Awards are presented annually and evenly distributed among assistant professors, associate professors and professors from the Basic Science and Clinical Science departments based on criteria defined for each academic rank.

In addition, five faculty members were singled out to receive Deanâs Office Awards. Established in 2012, these awards come with a $500 award in addition to a certificate.

The Kamran S. Moghissi, M.D. Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching is given to a faculty member who, through long and meritorious teaching of basic sciences, has left a mark of excellence and provided students with a critical understanding of the faculty memberâs discipline. The purpose of this award is to recognize faculty achievement, to encourage continued progress, and to provide assistance to faculty who demonstrate significant contributions to the teaching of basic science courses during the first two years in the School of Medicine. This yearâs award was given to Noreen Rossi, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine and program director of the Nephrology Fellowship.

âThe Kamran S. Moghissi, M.D., Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching is truly an honor. As a clinician, receiving the award for teaching basic science is surprising, humbling and gratifying. It confirms my deeply held conviction that a clear grasp of the basic functions of the body provides the foundation for rational medical therapy,â Dr. Rossi said. âA dynamic knowledge of basic sciences provides the basis for learning and applying new diagnostic and therapeutic advances for our patients. We are encouraged to practice evidence-based medicine; this begins with a deep understanding of how the body works on a molecular, cellular, organ and integrated manner. It is my hope that I have conveyed my area of expertise to students and trainees to encourage them to continue to inquire and learn.â

Basim Dubaybo, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, wrote that Dr. Rossi, âthrough long and meritorious teaching of basic sciences, has left a mark of teaching excellence ⦠while providing students with a critical understanding of her field,â in his nomination of her.

âConsultation with departmental leadership, as well as the Internal Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee, reveals that no one is more deserving of this award than Dr. Rossi,â he added. âShe is an exceptional person, educator and scientist who remains dedicated to the success of her students and trainees alike. She clearly sets the bar high and deserves the accolades that accompany this prestigious award unequivocally.â

The Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award was presented to Karoline Puder, M.D., associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The award goes to a faculty member who, through long and meritorious teaching of clinical or behavioral sciences, has left a mark of excellence and provided students with a critical understanding of the faculty memberâs discipline.

âEducating is the profession dedicated to teaching about life. Medical education is the profession dedicated to teaching life itself,â Dr. Puder said. âI am grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this process at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, to teach and to learn from students, residents, colleagues and patients, and am deeply honored to be recognized by receiving the Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award.â

âDr. Puder has a very distinguished and unusual love for teaching,â wrote Ali Alhousseini, M.D., a fellow of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, who nominated Dr. Puder. âShe will discuss clinical articles with the residents, fellows and medical students any time she is working. This could be while she is on call at 2 a.m. or during a regular work day at 2 p.m. ⦠The contributions of Dr. Puder to the education of the residents and fellows are an integral part of the success of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.â

Michael Bannon, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology, received the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. The award is presented to a faculty member who has served as an outstanding mentor to other faculty at Wayne State University School of Medicine and demonstrates a gift and passion for mentoring other faculty.

âOne of the most important responsibilities of a senior faculty member is to mentor more junior faculty colleagues during the formative stages of their academic careers,â Dr. Bannon said. âIt is truly an honor to receive this award, particularly given the many extraordinary faculty mentors we have within the School of Medicine.â

He was nominated for the award by Sokol Todi, Ph.D., associate professor of Pharmacology and of Neurology.

âAs a mentor Mike has served multiple roles, which made sure that I would succeed through the tenure process,â Dr. Todi wrote. âI can honestly state that were it not for his guidance and mentorship, I do not think that tenure would have occurred as smoothly as it did. Mike was instrumental in the preparation of nearly all of my grant applications. His complete honesty, abundant optimism and clear critique was necessary for my successful R01 applications, my New Investigator award applications, as well as successful applications of awards by my own mentees. My writing and presentation was tremendously stronger as a result of his guidance, advice and support. I can never thank him sufficiently for that. Mike has also been a fantastic guide in helping me mentor my own students and post-docs. He helped keep me grounded in terms of expectations, helped me push them harder in areas where they could excel more and helped me learn how to fine tune my approach for each individualâs mentorship plan.â

The Outstanding Research Achievement Award was presented to Donal OâLeary, Ph.D., professor of Physiology and director of Cardiovascular Research for the School of Medicine.

âI am deeply honored to receive this award. Our research requires a dedicated team to perform these studies,â Dr. OâLeary said. âI have had the great fortune over the years to interact with a number of outstanding graduate students and post-doctoral fellows as well as my colleagues and collaborators and our research associates and research assistants. Our success over the years would not have been possible without their hard work and commitment.â

Dr. OâLeary was nominated by J.P. Jin, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of Physiology, as well as a number of medical researchers at other universities.

âAmong the evidence that Dr. O'Leary is a nationally distinguished scientist, it is most notable that he has made major contributions to our understanding of blood pressure and cardiovascular regulation during exercise,â Dr. Jin wrote. âThis includes novel observations on issues related to the regulation of muscle blood flow, how afferents from contracting muscles influence the autonomic nervous system responses to exercise, baroreceptor modulation of muscle blood flow, and how these responses are altered in heart failure and kidney disease. He has been the premier scholar on examining the exercise pressure reflex in the disease of congestive heart failure. His work represents one of the few crucial hemodynamic systems in whole animal preparations, especially large animal models. This line of research will provide the underpinning of more translational work concerning cardiovascular adjustments to exercise in patients with chronic heart failure.â

Patricia Brown, M.D., professor of Infectious Diseases, received the Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award, given to an individual who has supported and/or brought recognition to women faculty members or activities for women faculty.

âThis award is extraordinarily meaningful to me,â Dr. Brown said. âTo date, despite the fact that women have had parity with men in medical school admissions for more than three decades, we have failed to advance women in academic medicine at the same level. Work to address this disparity by mentoring and supporting women in their academic career is critical to address this shortfall. I am very proud of the role that I have played in the advancement of women at the Wayne State University School of Medicine through the establishment of the Women in Medicine and Science group and through my own efforts as a mentor and role model for women who aspire to advancement in academic medicine.â

Dr. Dubaybo was one of three who nominated Dr. Brown for the recognition.

âShe supports women at all levels, helping them to advance in their careers and obtain leadership positions through mentoring and networking,â Dr. Dubaybo wrote. âDr. Brown has used her involvement and connections to promote junior faculty members. She is an inspirational teacher, a compassionate physician and a dedicated leader. Her mentorship has clearly contributed to the advancement of all our faculty, including that of our women.â

A complete list of award winners follows:


Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology
Ryan Thummel, Ph.D.

Internal Medicine
Luis Afonso, M.D.
Jonathan Cohn, M.D.
Mona Doshi, M.D.
Murray Ehrinpreis, M.D.
Dana Kissner, M.D.
Louis Saravolatz, M.D.
Ayman Soubani, M.D.

Robert Lisak, M.D.

Obstetrics and Gynecology
Awoniyi Awonuga, M.D.

Cathryn Bock, Ph.D.
Aliccia Bollig-Fischer, Ph.D.
George Brush, Ph.D.
Susan Eggly, Ph.D.
Felicity Harper, Ph.D.
Seong Ho Kim, Ph.D.
Antoinette Wozniak, M.D.

Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Rouba Ali-Fehmi, M.D.

Barbara Bosch, M.D.
Ali Gabali, M.D., Ph.D.
William Kupsky, M.D.
Janet Poulik, M.D.

Basim Asmar, M.D.
Mohammad El-Baba, M.D.
Shailender Madani, M.D.
Girija Natarajan, M.D.
Dena Nazer, M.D.

Steven Cala, Ph.D.
Donald DeGracia, Ph.D.
Robert Lasley, Ph.D.
Jason Mateika, Ph.D.
Patrick Mueller, Ph.D.
Donal O'Leary, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Ram, Ph.D.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Kathleen Moore, Ph.D.


Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology
Jena Steinle, Ph.D.

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Francesca Luca, Ph.D.

Alana Conti, Ph.D.

Obstetrics and Gynecology
Lami Yeo, M.D.
Kang Chen, Ph.D.

Karin List, Ph.D.


Kamran S. Moghissi, M.D., Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching: Noreen Rossi, M.D.

Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award: Karoline Puder, M.D.

Outstanding Faculty Mentor: Michael Bannon, Ph.D.

Outstanding Research Achievement Award: Donal OâLeary, Ph.D.

Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award: Patricia Brown, M.D.