Dr. Smith named Scientist Laureate

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public relations | March 15, 2011

Shelley Smith, Ph.D., director of developmental neuroscience at UNMC's Munroe-Meyer Institute, has been named UNMC's fifth Scientist Laureate.

The award is the highest honor UNMC bestows to researchers.

Dr. Smith was honored along with 23 other researchers recently named UNMC Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator award winners for 2010.

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Shelley Smith, Ph.D.
"Dr. Smith's diligence and hard work are inspiring and have led to her achieving a global reputation as a leader in 21st-century genetics," said Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research. "She truly embodies the characteristics we seek in a Scientist Laureate."

Dr. Smith works to localize and identify genetic mutations that influence developmental disorders, primarily language disorders such as dyslexia. She was a Distinguished Scientist in 2006.

The Distinguished Scientist award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists in the country during the past five years.

Previous laureates

  • 2006 -- Stephen Rennard, M.D.;
  • 2007 -- Irving Zucker, Ph.D.;
  • 2008 -- Howard Gendelman, M.D.; and
  • 2009 -- Alexander "Sasha" Kabanov, Ph.D.

New Investigator awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past one to three years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other federal sources.

New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

Distinguished Scientists and New Investigators receive merit-based salary supplements of $10,000. Dr. Smith receives a $20,000 supplement for being named scientist laureate.

A campus ceremony will be held on May 2 to recognize the awardees.

The 2010 Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator award winners are (* denotes New Investigator award recipient and (2) denotes two-time Distinguished Scientists):

College of Medicine

  • Surinder Batra, Ph.D. (2)
  • Shilpa Buch, Ph.D.
  • Wing (John) Chan, M.D. (2)
  • Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Paul Fey, Ph.D.
  • Ted Mikuls, M.D.
  • Huangui Xiong, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Stephen Bonasera, M.D., Ph.D.*
  • Karen Gould, Ph.D.*
  • Yulong Li, M.D., Ph.D.*
  • Yutong Liu, Ph.D.*
  • R. Lee Mosley, Ph.D.*
  • Hui Peng, M.D.*
  • Honghong Yao, Ph.D.,*
  • Matthew Zimmerman, Ph.D.*

College of Nursing

  • Carol Pullen, Ed.D.

College of Pharmacy

  • Gary Cochran, Pharm.D.*
  • Jered Garrison, Ph.D.*

Eppley Institute

  • Michael (Tony) Hollingsworth, Ph.D. (2)
  • Tahir Tahirov, Ph.D.
  • Youri Pavlov, D.Sc., Ph.D.
  • Polina Shcherbakova, Ph.D.*
  • Jing (Jenny) Wang, Ph.D.*

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