The annual President's Awards for Research Excellence and Innovation & Entrepreneurship recognize outstanding research achievements by our faculty. The selections 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.
President's Awards for Research Excellence
These awards recognize research and creative activity that make extraordinary contributions to knowledge and artistic expression and bring positive national visibility to USD. Evidence for accomplishment includes but is not limited to: publications, grants, high-status presentations, juried exhibitions, service on prestigious editorial boards and grant review panels, and national honors. Early/mid-career faculty nominees must be an assistant or associate professor, employed as a USD faculty member for at least one year, with less than eight years of faculty rank, and having research as a significant component of workload. Established faculty nominees must be an associate or full professor, having faculty rank for a minimum of eight years with at least three years as USD faculty, and assigned research as a significant component of workload.
President's Awards for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship recognizes applied research, commercialization and economic development activities that significantly advance USD. It recognizes innovative thinking and significant efforts to realize the commercial potential of the innovation for the collective benefit of society, the university, the state's economy, and the inventor/entrepreneur. Nominees must be full-time faculty or full-time staff employed by USD.
President's Award for Research Excellence: Early-Mid Career Faculty
Soonhee Roh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Social Work, School of Health Sciences
Roh’s research focuses on vulnerable populations, including underserved older adult populations, health/mental health problems including cancer prevention and intervention, substance use issues, and acculturative stress.
Roh is particularly interested in evidence-based intervention research to address issues as they relate to diverse racial/ethnic minority populations such as American Indians. As a junior faculty member, Roh has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles in the leading journals of the field and she has given more than 50 presentations to professional audiences at international, national, and regional conferences.
Her research is currently funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institute of Health. Two other projects have been supported by internal grants from the USD New Faculty Research and Creative Activity in 2013 and the School of Health Sciences Seed Grant.
President's Award for Research Excellence: Established Faculty
Brian Burrell, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Sanford School of Medicine
Burrell’s research has focused on understanding the biological basis of changes in behavior, specifically the physiological and cellular processes occurring in the nervous system that are ultimately responsible for both adaptive and maladaptive behavioral changes. This type of research is focused specifically on neurobehavioral changes related to pain.
Burrell is studying the role of a class of neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids that have the potential to reduce pain signaling, but can also increase pain signaling under certain conditions. This research seeks to understand how to use the endocannabinoid system in a way that can produce a therapeutic effect to treat pain without generating the effects that increase pain signaling.
Aside from this research, Burrell has also been active in institutional-development grants that seek to enhance the training of students at the graduate and undergraduate level. He is the co-director the USD Neuroscience and Nanotechnology Network which is funded by the National Science Foundation to prepare STEM graduate students for a variety of post-graduate careers in academia, government and the private sector, and also the NIH-fund Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Addiction (SPURA), which provides research experiences for undergraduates. He also serves as the director for the recently funded Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence initiative at USD which seeks to increase the diversity of students from South Dakota engaged in science majors.
President's Award for Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Samuel Sathyanesan, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Sanford School of Medicine
Sathyanesan’s research focuses on understanding the role of growth factor molecules in the brain, specifically proteins from the molecular class which have recently shown promising results in clinical trials in psychiatric disorders.
His laboratory employs a multifaceted molecular, cellular, and behavioral approach to further develop these factors into safer and more efficacious agents for the treatment of depression and cognitive dysfunction. This work is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Past Winners: Research Excellence - New or Mid-Career Faculty
|2016||Hongli Sun||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering|
|2015||Z. Rick Wang||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2014||Haoran Sun||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2013||Chaoyang Jiang||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2012||Mark Dixon||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology|
|2011||Jacob Kerby||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology|
|2010||Ranjit Koodali||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2009||Gina Forster (Tie)||Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences|
|2009||Dongming Mei (Tie)||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Physics|
|2008||Patrick Garry||School of Law|
|2007||Dan Soluk||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology|
Past Winners: Research Excellence - Established Faculty
|2016||Gina Forester||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering|
|2015||Yuhlong Lio||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Mathematical Sciences|
|2014||Dongming Mei||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Physics|
|2013||Ranjit Koodali (tie)||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2013||Carlos Telleria (tie)||Sanford School of Medicine Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences|
|2012||Mary Berry||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2011||Patrick Garry||School of Law|
|2010||John Koster||National Music Museum|
|2009||Robert Morecraft (Tie)||Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences|
|2009||Paula Mabee (Tie)||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology|
|2008||Xuejun (XJ) Wang||Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences|
|2007||Teri James Bellis||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Communication Disorders|
Past Winners: Innovation & Entrepreneurship
|2016||Victor Huber||College of Arts & Sciences, Biomedical Engineering|
|2015||Grigoriy Sereda||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2014||Stanley May||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry|
|2013||Gopinath Mani||Graduate School, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering|
|2012||Andrew Shim||School of Education, Dept. of Kinesiology & Sports Science|
|2011||Young Ae Kim||College of Fine Arts, Dept. of Art|
|2010||William Anderson||College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Political Science|
|2009||Yuyu Sun||Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences|
|2005||DaQing Yang||Sanford School of Medicine|