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The Making of Medicine

UVA Honors Outstanding Researchers (Blog Readers May Recognize Several)

UVA has named the recipients of this year's research awards, and several come from the School of Medicine. There are quite a few you may have read about right here on the blog.

The awards honor outstanding contributions to the researchers' fields and recognize the impact of their work. “Although it was a challenging year for researchers, we are proud of our faculty’s achievements and accomplishments,” Melur “Ram” Ramasubramanian, UVA’s vice president for research, said. “We believe it’s important to celebrate our faculty who are making a significant impact on the world with their research and scholarship.”

Let me introduce you to the School of Medicine recipients:

This year's Research Excellence Award recipients include Chongzhi Zang, who develops computational models and algorithms for analyzing data from cutting-edge technologies, and who uses data science to study epigenetics in human diseases, especially cancer.

There were two SoM recipients of the Distinguished Researcher Award. Kodi Ravichandran studies how our bodies remove dying cells, and his work has netted him an impressive list of papers in the journal Nature, considered one of the most important and influential in the world. William A. Petri Jr. is an infectious disease doctor who has done amazing work on gut infections in the developing world and who is developing a COVID-19 vaccine. (You've probably seen Dr. Petri in the media talking about many different aspects of COVID-19. He's done a real public service in that regard.)

The Research Collaboration Award went to an interdisciplinary team that included five folks from the SoM: David Diduch, Mark Miller, Stephen Brockmeier, Brian Werner and F. Winston Gwathmey. The other team member, Joseph Hart, comes from the School of Education & Human Development.

“Our dedicated and talented researchers are deeply committed to the mission of this university — advancing knowledge and passing it on to the world and the next generation,” UVA Provost Liz Magill said. “The Research Achievement Awards are a great way to recognize our researchers for making meaningful contributions in their disciplines, supporting their peers and mentees, and having a positive impact on our communities.”

“If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that academic research is a fundamental part of a successful society, fueling discoveries in medicine, breakthroughs in engineering, and changing the way we think about and respond to the natural and social world,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. “The research award winners truly exemplify the high-quality scholarship that makes UVA a leading research institution.”

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