Archive for Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KU professors honored for research

Pictured together are Kansas University faculty members who are recipients of the University Scholarly Achievement Awards; Donna Ginther, professor of economics, Russell Swerdlow, professor of neurology, Jeffrey Burns, associate professor of neurology, Cory Berkland, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and Jeffrey Moran, associate professor of history. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Pictured together are Kansas University faculty members who are recipients of the University Scholarly Achievement Awards; Donna Ginther, professor of economics, Russell Swerdlow, professor of neurology, Jeffrey Burns, associate professor of neurology, Cory Berkland, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and Jeffrey Moran, associate professor of history. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

May 8, 2012

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Five Kansas University professors received recognition Tuesday for their research across a variety of disciplines at the university.

This is the second year for the awards, which are presented to midcareer researchers in four fields: arts and humanities; clinical science; science, technology and mathematics; and social science and professional programs.

“For a very long time, KU has given teaching awards,” said Donna Ginther, an economics professor who was recognized with one of the awards. “The Kemper Awards are always given with much fanfare. I’m glad KU is recognizing research in such a way.”

This year’s winners include:

• Jeffrey Moran, associate professor of history, who received the award for his third book, “American Genesis: The Evolution Controversies from Scopes to Creation Science,” which looks at how the evolution debate has gone beyond state legislatures and courthouses. He received the award for arts and humanities.

• Russell Swerdlow and Jeffrey Burns, two KU Medical Center professors who together formed a nationally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Center at KUMC. They jointly received the award for forming the center, funded by a five-year, $6.5 million grant from the federal National Institute on Aging. The designation puts the center among a group of 29 such centers across the nation.

“Our goal is to develop Alzheimer’s disease treatment strategies as well as Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics,” Swerdlow said, adding that he “couldn’t be happier” to receive the recognition from KU.

• Ginther, a professor of economics, for her work, including a publication in the August 2011 edition of Science that found that black researchers had more difficulty obtaining funds from the National Institutes of Health. After the findings were published, the NIH underwent a series of reviews and changes to address the issue.

“They took it very seriously,” said Ginther, who received the award for social science and professional programs.

• Cory Berkland, an associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and of pharmaceutical chemistry, who received the award for his research into nanotechnology and drug delivery.

“I was very surprised to receive this award,” Berkland said in an email. “I appreciate the chancellor’s investment in recognizing KU faculty as an incentive for scholarly output. In my case, this includes output such as intellectual property and commercial activities.”

Berkland’s research includes industrial collaborators such as Genentech and ConocoPhillips.

The award recipients are chosen by a panel of their peers

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