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Shilpa Buch, Ph.D., is UNMC's 10th Scientist Laureate

Image with caption: Shilpa Buch, Ph.D.

Shilpa Buch, Ph.D.

Shilpa Buch, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience in the College of Medicine and director of The Nebraska Center for Substance Abuse Research, has been named UNMC's 10th Scientist Laureate.

The award is the highest honor UNMC bestows to researchers.

Dr. Buch was honored along with 20 other researchers recently named UNMC Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Research Leadership award winners for 2015.

Dr. Buch's research goals are to understand the molecular pathways by which drugs of abuse affect neurodegeneration in the context of HIV infection and to develop therapeutic targets against the same.

"Dr. Buch is a nationally recognized, successful scientist," said Jennifer Larsen, M.D., vice chancellor of research. "Her own research as well as her recent leadership to establish the Nebraska Center for Substance Abuse Research provides an opportunity for Nebraska to lead the nation in new strategies to understand and mitigate the important and growing problem of substance abuse and its consequences."

Howard Gendelman, M.D., chair of the UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, praised Dr. Buch as an innovative scientist, researcher and mentor.

"The real success in academic pursuits rests in celebrating the success of those you care for most for and those who you knew from the start were destined to surpass their own metrics, beliefs and career aspirations," Dr. Gendelman said. "Shilpa is one who has exceeded in so many different and vital parts of her research and leadership and her success has become our own. However, the imprint she has made in science and in mentoring has just begun."

Dr. Larsen said the 10 researchers named New Investigators make up one of the largest groups ever to receive that award in a single year.

"The number of New Investigators speaks to our ongoing success in recruitment and development of outstanding scientists to UNMC," Dr. Larsen said. "Because these researchers represent faculty from multiple different fields and types of research, they will help us to continue to grow our research portfolio well into the future."

The Research Leadership Award

The Research Leadership Award is intended to honor scientists previously recognized as Distinguished Scientists who have a longstanding research funding history and also serve as research leaders and mentors on campus.

Research Leadership Award

This year's recipients are:

  • Luis Marky, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
  • James O'Dell, M.D., College of Medicine

Distinguished Scientist Award

This year's recipients are:

The Distinguished Scientist 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.

  • Ram Mahato, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
  • Kendra Schmid, Ph.D., College of Public Health
  • Polina Shcherbakova, D.Sc., Eppley Institute
  • Jennifer Black, Ph.D., Eppley Institute
  • Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D., College of Public Health
  • David F. Mercer, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Anna Dunaevsky, Ph.D., Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • Nancy Waltman, Ph.D., College of Nursing

New Investigator Awards

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go 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.

This year's recipients are:

  • Rebecca Deegan, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Jingwei Xie, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Justin Mott, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Tony Wilson, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Alexey Kamemskiy, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Woo-Yang Kim, Ph.D., Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • Rene Opavsky, Ph.D., Eppley Institute
  • Nicholas Woods, Ph.D. Eppley Institute
  • Sasha Shillcutt, M.D., College of Medicine
  • James McClay, M.D., College of Medicine

Ceremony in February
A campus ceremony will be held Feb. 11 to recognize the award recipients, as well as the winner of the Community Service to Research Award, who will be announced later.

What others are saying

"Dr. Buch has made tremendous contributions to our understanding of a disease that impacts millions of Americans. Her leadership in to establishment of a center in alcohol abuse and substance abuse at UNMC reflects not only her scientific skills but vision for excellence. She is the epitome of what the scientist laureate award is intended to recognize."
- Brad Britigan, M.D., dean of the UNMC College of Medicine
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