South Dakotan Magazine Winter 2013-14 - page 6

The University of South Dakota has recognized four faculty
members for outstanding research. The awards, selected through
a highly competitive process, are a strong endorsement of each
researcher’s creativity and innovation and an honor for the
university to bestow. Each award recipient receives a $3,000
grant and a plaque.
“Research is an essential component of USD’s mission and
one of many ways USD contributes to the economic development
of the state,” said Laura Jenski, Ph.D., vice president for research
at USD.
The President’s Award for Research Excellence: Early-
Mid Career Faculty was presented to Chaoyang Jiang, Ph.D.,
associate professor in the Department
of Chemistry. Jiang joined the USD
chemistry department in 2007 and has
actively participated in most of the major
research programs within chemistry,
including: the statewide National Science
Foundation (NSF)-EPSCoR-Research
Infrastructure Improvement Project, the
Ph.D. program in materials chemistry, the
NSF funded South Dakota Integrative
Graduate Education and Research
Traineeship program (IGERT), the
Northern Plains Undergraduate Research Center (NPURC), and
the department’s current Research Experiences for Undergraduates
(REU) program. Jiang’s research interests include nanostructure
synthesis and assembly, functional multilayer thin films, plasmonic
nanomaterials, and surface-enhanced Raman scattering for sensing
and chemical detection.
The President’s Award for Research
Excellence: Established Faculty was a tie,
given to two faculty members: Ranjit
Koodali, Ph.D., associate professor in the
Department of Chemistry, and Carlos
Telleria, Ph.D., associate professor in the
Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences.
Since 2005, Koodali has built an
outstanding record in research, service
and teaching. His research interests
include nanomaterials, photocatalysis,
environmental remediation, catalysis by metal oxides, and solar
energy conversion to fuels. The results of Koodali’s scholarship
have resulted in considerable external grant support and inclusion
in last year’s National Science Foundation (NSF) report to
Congress. He also takes an active role in the Photo Active
Nanoscale Systems (PANS) collaboration, where his research on
transforming solar energy into fuel contributed significantly to the
Research Infrastructure Improvement Award.
Telleria has been a faculty member in the division of Basic
Biomedical Sciences of the Sanford School of Medicine (SSOM)
for 10 years. Focused in the area of
oncology with an emphasis on ovarian
cancer, he is dedicated to securing
external funding for his research, and
his commitment was rewarded in 2008
with a National Cancer Institute (NCI),
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Career Development Award. In 2012,
Telleria had his second NCI-NIH grant
funded, an R15 to continue his work
on antiprogestin therapy for ovarian
cancer. He was the recipient of the 2008 McVay Award for
Teaching and Research Excellence from the SSOM, and is active
in providing research opportunities in his laboratory for colleagues
and students.
Gopinath Mani, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department
of Biomedical Engineering, is the recipient of the President’s
Award for Research Innovation &
Entrepreneurship. Mani joined the
faculty of USD in 2010 as a member
of the biomedical engineering program
and since then has made two invention
disclosures related to the development
of the next generation of drug-eluting
stents. Mani has held various leadership
positions in the Society for Biomaterials
(SFB) and has work funded by the
American Heart Association and
South Dakota Board of Regents. He is currently working with
South Dakota Innovation Partners on the possibility of creating
a start-up company to move the technology further along the
commercialization pathway.
The South Dakotan
ecognized with
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