Dr. Batra named UNMC Scientist Laureate

15 others selected as Distinguished Scientists or New Investigators

Surinder Batra, Ph.D., professor and chairman, department of biochemistry and molecular biology, has been named the seventh Scientist Laureate for the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The award is the highest honor UNMC bestows to researchers.

Dr. Batra was honored along with 15 other researchers recently named UNMC Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator award winners for 2012.

Dr. Batra was a Distinguished Scientist in 2006 and 2010. He looks for biomarkers that can lead to early diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancers including pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest types of cancer.

“Dr. Batra’s research is very promising and offers much hope for those afflicted with some of the world’s most lethal forms of cancer,” said Jennifer Larsen, M.D., vice chancellor for research.

“Aside from the enormous ramifications of his work, Dr. Batra also publishes at a phenomenal rate and is an outstanding mentor to young investigators. He embodies all that a researcher should be and I’m thrilled to see him receive this award.”

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.

The New Investigator Award goes to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources.

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

A campus ceremony will be held later this spring to recognize the award recipients.

The 2012 Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator award winners are listed below.

(* -- Denotes New Investigator award recipient.)

College of Pharmacy

  • Dong Wang, Ph.D.

College of Medicine

  • Mark Rupp, M.D.
  • Mark Carlson, M.D.*
  • Benita McVicker, Ph.D.*

College of Nursing

  • Julia Houfek, Ph.D.*
  • Bunny Pozehl, Ph.D.

College of Public Health

  • Gleb Haynatzki, Ph.D.
  • Ashish Joshi, M.D.*
  • Terry Huang, Ph.D.
  • Risto Rautiainen, Ph.D.
  • Mohammad Siahpush, Ph.D.
  • Jim Stimpson, Ph.D.*

Eppley Institute

  • Amarnath Natarajan, Ph.D.
  • Xu Luo, Ph.D.

 School of Allied Health Professions

  • Patricia Hageman, Ph.D.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.




Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
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(402) 650-7063 (cell)