September 18, 2019

School celebrates faculty promotions and tenure Oct. 2

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

The ceremony will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Margherio Family Conference Center, and includes the presentation of College Teaching Awards and Research Excellence Awards, along with Dean’s Office Awards.

Those who received tenure include Yan Yuan Tseng, Ph.D., associate professor of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology; Adi Tarca, Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Tomomi Ichinose, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences; Shunbin Xu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences; Mustapha Kandouz, Ph.D., associate professor of Pathology; Jian    Wang, Ph.D., associate professor of Pathology; and Shane Perrine, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences.

“I see attaining tenure as a recognition on behalf of Wayne State University that my research and teaching are of value to WSU and the scientific community at large,” said Dr. Tarca, who joined the WSU Computer Science faculty in 2008 and then the School of Medicine faculty as an associate professor in 2014. “During all my tenure at WSU, I have worked at the interface of computational biology and pregnancy research. The perk that I like most about tenure is that I get to spend less time with activity reporting and more with what I like doing, which is research.”

Dr. Ichinose has been with the School of Medicine faculty since June 2012. “With the acceptance of my tenure application, I feel that I am a real faculty member of Wayne with more responsibility for teaching and service. At the same time, I am excited to obtain academic freedom. I am excited to expand my research activities and test my bunch of ideas in the lab.

In the 2019 Dean’s Office Awards, Maik Huttemann, Ph.D., professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, won the Outstanding Research Achievement Award. The honor is given to a faculty member in a basic science or clinical department who has made significant and career-long contributions to the advancement of an area of biomedical, behavioral, clinical or medical research. Nominees must have a sustained record of meritorious publication and scholarship, and must have demonstrated a record of nationally and internationally recognized research.

“Maik is unusual in carrying out basic research at a high level and then rapidly translating it to human health,” said Lawrence Grossman, Ph.D., the Henry L. Brasza Professor and director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. “He has been able to link changes in aspects of energy production to produce a test for early diagnosis of lung cancer that is based on a COX gene variation (which is still under development and for which he holds a patent) and to a preventive treatment for ischemia/reperfusion injury, for which he also holds a patent and whose development a company has taken on. For the latter, his group found that certain wavelengths of infrared light inhibit COX. He then proposed to apply this finding to pathological conditions where mitochondria are hyperactive and generate large amounts of free radicals, such as in ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction. In ongoing work in collaboration with other WSU faculty members they were able to show in animal models that non-invasive application of the light leads to profound myocardial and neuronal protection. This is a therapeutic method that has the potential to alter medical treatment for such debilitating conditions so that its potential importance cannot be overstated.”

Dr. Grossman also noted that Dr. Huttemann “also has performed with distinction in other faculty areas, being a notable teacher (receiving the 2012 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2011 and 2015 School of Medicine Teaching Award) and engaging in substantial service, including service on the Academic Senate and being associate director for Research in the center.”

Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D., associate professor of Internal Medicine and director of Community Engagement Programs for the School of Medicine, won the Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award. The award is given to an individual who has supported and/or brought recognition to women faculty members or activities for women faculty members.

She was nominated by Beena Sood, M.D., M.S., professor of Pediatrics; Li Li, Ph.D., professor of Internal Medicine; and Tiffany Cook, Ph.D., associate professor of the Center of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and of the Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences. They described Dr. Mendez as “an outstanding academician, leader, role model and champion for women faculty and trainees” at the School of Medicine.

“As director of Community Engagement Programs, Dr. Mendez has designed and implemented unique early clinical programs for medical students that have impacted not only the health of communities in Detroit, but also inspired medical students to become compassionate and competent physicians working in inter-professional teams to lead innovation in clinical care and research,” The nominators said. “The Liaison Committee for Medical Education provided a commendation for (the School of Medicine) service-learning activities and curricula led by Dr. Mendez. Dr. Mendez has mentored students and faculty in co-authoring several publications about the impact of the innovative programs she pioneered … on medical education, perception of aging and inter-professional education on patient outcomes. She has mentored medical students in presenting 70 research projects as poster presentations. In addition, she has obtained funding to support community engagement and medical education. … With her impressive work, she has developed an educational niche at the School of Medicine that has brought recognition and distinction to the university.”

The Kamran S. Moghissi, M.D. Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching went to Izabela Podgorski, Ph.D., associate professor of Pharmacology, and Donald DeGracia, Ph.D., professor of Physiology and of Molecular Medicine and Genetics. The award is given annually 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 member's discipline. The purpose of the 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.

Raymond Mattingly, Ph.D., chair of Pharmacology and professor of Oncology, called Dr. Podgorski “an outstanding exemplar of the fully rounded basic science faculty member, with a demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring excellence allied to an exceptional research program and many local and national service commitments.”

Noting that she is the school’s content expert in the critical areas of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, the foundation of the discipline of pharmacology, Dr. Mattingly noted that students appreciate her clarity and organization. “The excellent performance of the medical students on general principles of pharmacology topics on the national (National Board of Medical Education) pharmacology examination provide objective evidence of Dr. Podgorski’s successful medical education. Detailed analysis of the score areas reported by NBME demonstrates that our students are scoring above the national mean on questions that focus on the general principle areas of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Our students are thus extremely well prepared by Dr. Podgorski’s teaching to excel in subsequent areas of pharmacology and therapeutics both in the classroom and the clinic.”

J.-P. Jin, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of Physiology, nominated Dr. DeGracia, who he said has “demonstrated a strong combination of excellences dedicated to the School of Medicine’s teaching mission. His outstanding performance is highly appraised by faculty colleagues and students. … His overall contribution is critical to not only our medical and graduate education missions, but also to the continuing success of others in the department in achieving higher research and scholarly productivities.”

In his nomination of Dr. DeGracia, Dr. Jin included comments from several of his students, including, a “professor who I would like to grab a drink with and talk neuroscience with. Extremely interesting and passionate about his lectures.” “Dr. DeGracia is very knowledgeable and a master of the content. Energetic, relevant, nice, helpful etc., all of the things we need in a good lecturer for the future of our school.” “I liked that we learned material way above our knowledge. I liked that is was a different organization rather than just lecture material and exams. Overall, I learned different things that I would not have before."

Robert Lisak, M.D., professor of Neurology, 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 who demonstrated a gift and passion for mentoring faculty.

Dr. Lisak, a former chair of Neurology, “has enthusiastically supported and facilitated his mentees in their career development,” said Jun Li, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of Neurology. “He has willingly involved other senior faculty to help in the development of junior faculty. The success of the mentees is his focus, instead of receiving credit as mentor. As the chair, he was instrumental in teaching and encouraging me and others at WSU, protecting our academic time despite pressures for clinical activities. He often did the extra clinical services himself.”

Dr. Li noted that Dr. Lisak is “nationally and internationally recognized as an outstanding mentor. He has helped develop the careers of neurologists and scientists at other institutions through his activities for major organizations … . Dr. Lisak is the epitome of a great mentor and has been so, throughout his long career in neurology and in neurobiological sciences.”

2019 Promotion and Tenure Awards

Daniel Applefield, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Terry Ellis, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE) FTA
Dragos Galusca, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Sandeep Krishnan, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
Jeffrey Withey, Ph.D. - Professor (RE)
Li Zhou, M.D. - Adjunct Associate Professor
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Angela Trepanier, M.S., C.G.G. - Professor (CE)
Leonard Lipovich, Ph.D. (Joint Neurology) - Professor (RE)
Yan Yuan Tseng, Ph.D. (Joint Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology) - Associate Professor (RE) with Tenure
Iltefat Hamzavi, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Danita Peoples-Peterson, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Emergency Medicine 
Mark Favot, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Andrew King, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Vijaya Arun Kumar, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Jacob Manteuffel, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Anne Messman, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Taher Vohra, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Family Medicine and Public Health Services 
Kimberly Campbell-Voytal, Ph.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
James Meza, M.D., Ph.D. - Associate Professor (CE) FTA
Internal Medicine 
Nikhil Goyal, M.B.B.S. (Joint Emergency Medicine) - Clinical Professor
Dana Kissner, M.D. - Professor (CE)
Alireza Meysami, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
James Novak, M.D., Ph.D. - Clinical Professor
Anita Patel, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Kausik Umanath, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE) FTA
Maher Fakhouri, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Muhammad Ibrahim, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Wazim Mohamed, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Tobias Walbert, M.D., Ph.D. - Associate Professor (CE) FTA
Vibhangini Wasade, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE) FTA
Obstetrics and Gynecology
David Bryant, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Adi Tarca, Ph.D. - Professor (RE) with Tenure
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Leah Robinson, Ph.D. - Academic Services Officer IV
Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, Ph.D. - Professor (RE)
Michele Cote, Ph.D. - Professor (RE)
Natasha Robinette, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Hayley Thompson, Ph.D. - Professor (RE)
Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences 
Reecha Bahl, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Tomomi Ichinose, M.D., Ph.D. - Associate Professor (RE) with Tenure
Shunbin Xu, M.D., Ph.D. - Granting of Tenure
Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
John Craig, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Michael Singer, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Mustapha Kandouz, Ph.D. - Associate Professor (RE) with Tenure
Christian Keller, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Jian Wang, Ph.D. -  Associate Professor (RE) with Tenure
Iqbal Allarakhia, M.B.B.S. - Clinical Professor
Rossana Baracco Maggi, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Mary Burton, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
Katherine Cashen, D.O. - Associate Professor (CE)
Mohammad El-Baba, M.D. - Professor (CE)
Aimee Luat, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Hernando Lyons, M.D. - Clinical Professor
Pavadee Poowuttikul, M.D. - Associate Professor (CE)
Karin List, Ph.D. (Joint with Oncology) - Professor (RE)
Suresh Palaniyandi, Ph.D. - Adjunct Associate Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Christopher Drake, Ph.D. - Professor (RE) FTA
Shane Perrine, Ph.D. - Associate Professor (RE) with Tenure
Daniel Myers, M.D. - Clinical Professor
David Edelman, M.D. - Professor (CE)
Judith Lun, M.D. - Professor (CE) FTA
Shawn Webb, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor

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

2019 Research Excellence Award Winners

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Tiffany Cook, Ph.D.

Rodrigo Andrade, Ph.D.
Tracie Baker, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
Deborah Ellis, Ph.D.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
David Ledgerwood, Ph.D.

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Pathology
Gerald Feldman, M.D, Ph.D.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Arash Javanbakht, M.D.

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.

2019 College Teaching Award Winners

Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
Sharon Ackerman, Ph.D. 

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Roger Pique-Regi, Ph.D.

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Pathology
Gerald Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.

Emergency Medicine
Cynthia Aaron, M.D.
Robert Ehrman, M.D.

Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
April Carcone, Ph.D.
Deborah Ellis, Ph.D.
Samson Jamesdaniel, M.D., Ph.D.
Elizabeth Towner, Ph.D.

Internal Medicine 
Nashat Imran, M.D.
Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D.

Alana Conti, Ph.D.

Asfar Azmi, Ph.D.
Michael Dominello, D.O.
Lance Heilbrun, Ph.D.
Xiaohong Zhang, Ph.D.

Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences
Gary Abrams, M.D.
Victoria Stover, M.D.

Marilynn Fairfax, M.D., Ph.D.
Edi Levi, M.D.
Kaladhar Reddy, Ph.D.

Jocelyn Ang, M.D.
Andrew Fribley, Ph.D.
Yvonne Friday, M.D.
Kathleen Meert, M.D.

Pediatrics and Neurology
Mitchel Williams, M.D.

Cristina Artalejo, M.D., Ph.D.
Ellen Tisdale, Ph.D.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Arash Javanbakht, M.D.
Rebecca Klisz-Hulbert, M.D.
Georgia Michalopoulou, Ph.D.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Steven Ondersma, Ph.D.

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