NSRI appoints 24 UNMC researchers as fellows
Maj. Gen. USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI interim executive director
The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska (NU) has launched NSRI Fellows to amplify the university's research contributions to the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agencies with national security missions.
Below are UNMC NSRI Fellows and their UNMC affiliations:
- Ken Bayles, PhD, pathology and microbiology
- Jesse Bell, PhD, environmental, agricultural and occupational health
- David Brett-Major, PhD, epidemiology
- M. Jana Broadhurst, MD, PhD, microbiology and infectious disease
- Keely Buesing, MD, surgery
- Eric Carnes, PhD, chemical engineering
- Rebecca Oberley-Deegan, PhD, biochemistry and molecular biology
- Chittibabu Guda, PhD, genetics, cell biology and anatomy
- Corey Hopkins, PhD, pharmaceutical sciences
- Victoria Kennel, PhD, industrial-organizational psychology
- Chris Kratochvil, MD, clinical research, psychiatry
- Marilynn Larson, PhD, pathology and microbiology
- James Lawler, MD, internal medicine
- Bethany Lowndes, PhD, neurological sciences
- Aaron Mohs, PhD, pharmaceutical sciences
- Daniel Monaghan, PhD, pharmacology and experimental neuroscience
- Nicholas Palermo, PhD, computational chemistry
- Gurudutt Pendyala, PhD, anesthesiology
- Shanna Ratnesar-Shumate, PhD, pathology and microbiology
- St. Patrick Reid, PhD, pathology and microbiology
- Matthew Rizzo, MD, neurological sciences
- Alicia Schiller, PhD, anesthesiology
- James Talmadge, PhD, pathology and microbiology
- Steven Yeh, MD, ophthalmology, visual sciences
The inaugural group includes 74 researchers from across the NU system and 24 from UNMC. Together, NSRI Fellows will contribute their expertise, talent and foresight to build multidisciplinary teams that develop solutions for complex problems across the spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.
"As a DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), it is our responsibility to continue to look ahead to the next threat and the next solution," said Maj. Gen. USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI interim executive director. "NSRI Fellows will bring our institute even closer together with the experts across the university system, so we can continue to deliver on our core competencies and maintain the research and development expertise, capabilities and technology the nation needs today - and will need tomorrow."
Since it was established in 2012, NSRI has conducted and facilitated 124 projects through $180 million of contracts and grants with NU and the federal government. In September 2020 its UARC status was renewed by its sponsor, U.S. Strategic Command, with a $92 million contract vehicle.
Several of the appointed fellows have led or contributed significant deliverables to these projects that help reach the nation's national security objectives, including leadership and contributions toward developing American forces' next-gen pharmaceutical defenses, military medical personnel assessment tools and oxygenated microbubbles for a life-saving solution to traumatic lung injury.
"UNMC has been committed to the development of NSRI and its mission from the outset," said Jennifer Larsen, MD, UNMC vice chancellor for research. "The NSRI Fellows program represents just one more mechanism for engagement of our faculty with NSRI who bring considerable expertise in many areas, but particularly all aspects of biosecurity, warfighter readiness, and remote and en route combat casualty care, including pharmaceutical and technology solutions."
The inaugural class of NSRI Fellows were nominated by NU campus leaders and NSRI directors. Nominations can be sent to NSRI from NU and NSRI leadership any time.
NSRI Fellows are led by Neal Woollen, DVM, NSRI senior research strategy officer.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is a vivid example of how threats impact all of society," Dr. Woollen said. "It emphasizes the need for broad, inclusive and effective countermeasures to enhance readiness, deny effects, protect service members and society, make society more resilient and deter intentional use. NSRI Fellows are another mechanism NSRI will employ to contribute to these objectives. We have the expertise through the University of Nebraska, and we must continue to find new ways to leverage it."