The University of Virginia held its fifth annual Research Achievement Awards on February 1 at the Boar’s Head Pavilion. The event highlighted the top 130 researchers across Grounds as among the best and brightest at the University based on sponsored funding, publications, and awards. The honorees enjoyed an evening celebration with Jim Ryan, UVA President; Ian Baucom, Executive Vice President and Provost; Fred Epstein, Interim Vice President for Research, and other supporters.
Congratulations to all the researchers for their outstanding accomplishments that are making an impact in our world! We’d like to especially recognize the School of Medicine faculty below who are among 16 UVA researchers selected to receive Research Achievement Awards.
Distinguished Research Award: Gary K. Owens, PhD, Robert M. Berne Endowed Professor of Cardiovascular Research and Director, School of Medicine
The cardiovascular research of Gary Owens has fundamentally reshaped our understanding of vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) differentiation. His research focuses on identifying the factors and mechanisms that regulate the stability of late-stage atherosclerotic lesions and the probability of a heart attack or stroke.
During his years at UVA, Owens has written over 200 research papers and received over $30 million in research funding. He also helped establish a partnership between UVA Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) and the CV Group at AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical that has helped the University become a leader in the fields of translational research in heart failure, atherosclerosis, vascular complications of diabetes, and targeted drug delivery.
“His research contributions have brilliantly illuminated the intricate complexities of SMC biology, challenging and overturning longstanding beliefs in the field,” said Ling Qi, Andrew P. Somlyo, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, School of Medicine.
Research Mentor Award: Amy Bouton, PhD, Harrison Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MIC), School of Medicine
During Amy Bouton’s 30-year career at UVA, she has applied her leadership, commitment, and creativity to help her fellow faculty.
Several years ago, Bouton helped establish a committee of senior faculty to review grant proposals prior to submitting to NIH. This model was so successful that it was adopted by other groups on Grounds. As interim Chair of the Department of MIC, she instituted “Promotion Advisory Committees” for all faculty below the rank of Full Professor. The committees meet every 6 months to provide advice to faculty.
“Amy has shown amazing leadership and guidance to me at every stage of my career. She always has time to listen, be a sounding board, and offer insightful advice and constructive criticism,” said Lucy Pemberton, Associate Director for Education, UVA Cancer Center, School of Medicine.
Read more about the Research Achievement Awards event in UVA Today.