May 7, 2021

Academic Recognition Week at Wayne State honors four School of Medicine faculty members

The School of Medicine awardees are, from left, Drs. Samiran Ghosh, Alana Conti, Roger Pique-Regi and Karen MacDonell,

Faculty and academic staff from across campus are celebrated for their contributions to the university, academic community and professional development during Academic Recognition Week, hosted May 3–7 in place of the traditional in-person ceremony. Academic Recognition Week virtually honored the accomplishments of individuals nominated by their peers, including four faculty members of the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

"Our faculty are the backbone of our School of Medicine, and these recognitions are well deserved,” said Mark E. Schweitzer, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and vice president of WSU Health Affairs. “They are the reason we produce the finest physicians in the nation and conduct leading research that continues to advance the field of medicine. I know our faculty members will join me in congratulating their colleagues.” 

2021 Academic Recognition Awardees from the School of Medicine

The Charles H. Gershenson & Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Awards recognize faculty members whose continuing achievements and activities in scholarship, research, or the fine and performing arts are nationally distinguished. The fellowships are part of the commitment to Wayne State by the late Charles H. Gershenson, who served on the Board of Governors. The term of each fellowship is two years. This year, fellowships were awarded to Samiran Ghosh, Ph.D., an associate professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, and director of biostatistics for Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design; and Roger Pique-Regi, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Ghosh’s methodological research focuses on survival analysis, generalized linear model, multi-level model, model selection in high-dimensional data, machine learning and Bayesian paradigm. He is also interested in design and analysis of clinical trials. Issues related to missing data, sample size and bias in longitudinal clinical trials make up his more recent research focus, as well as health services, outcomes research and mental health.

Dr. Pique-Regi’s research group aims to further understanding of the human genome by developing computational methods and statistical models that integrate large genomics datasets. The group’s statistical work makes use of computationally intensive approaches that are designed to be effective for extracting subtle signals from large and complex data sets by using or developing new advanced state-of-the-art methods in statistics, computer science and signal processing and applying them to comparative genomics, functional genomics and population genetics.

Career Development Chairs are awarded to as many as 10 recently-tenured faculty as part of the university’s program to support the teaching and research endeavors of faculty members in the developmental stages of their scholarly careers. This year’s recipients included Karen MacDonell, Ph.D. an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences. Dr. MacDonell works in the Division of Behavioral Science, and has a background in developmental psychology. She has worked on multiple National Institutes of Health-funded projects focused on identifying and reducing health disparities. Her work has included mobile and wireless approaches for both assessment and intervention, including the Detroit Young Adult Asthma Project, a technology-based intervention to improve adherence to medication in African American young adults with asthma. She also trains providers to utilize Motivational Interviewing techniques in adolescent HIV clinics to promote improved HIV self-management.

The Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award honors graduate faculty who are recognized by their departments and their graduate students as excellent mentors. This year’s recipients included Alana Conti, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and the Department of Neurosurgery. The Conti Laboratory studies the mechanisms of alcohol action in the traumatically-injured brain. Using animal models, experiments are designed to examine ethanol action at the cellular level and to define the signaling pathways that mediate the synaptic response to ethanol. Additional studies examine ethanol-related behaviors, such as binge consumption and withdrawal. The studies seek to identify protein targets of alcohol and develop interventions for the alcohol-damaged brain.

“Our faculty continue to go above and beyond to support student success, and their dedication and hard work is critical to Wayne State University’s core mission,” said Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Lauzon Clabo. “This year especially has presented challenges, and I am grateful for the innovative and adaptive spirit that so many leaders on campus have displayed to continue their exceptional service, scholarship, and teaching and mentoring.”

Learn more about awards and recognition from the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs online. For additional information about faculty and staff development and success initiatives, visit

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