Faculty Accomplishments

May 2020

Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Dean for Assessment and Evaluation in the College of Medicine, has been named by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to the National Cancer Policy Forum (NCPF).

Academies forums are designed to allow government, industry, academic, and other representatives to meet, confer, and plan on subject areas of mutual interest.

The objectives of the NCPF are to identify emerging high priority policy issues in the nation’s effort to combat cancer and to examine those issues through convening activities that promote discussion about potential opportunities for action. More information can be found on the NCPF website: https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/national-cancer-policy-forum.

Her three-year appointment begins in January 2021.

Kristi DeLeon-Pennell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, has been awarded the 2020 The Dale J. Benos Early Career Service Award by the American Physiological Society.

Jessica Thaxton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine, has been awarded two RO1 grants from the NIH NIC.

Targeting Chronic ER Stress in T Cells to Improve Cancer Immunotherapy

The major goals of this project are to measure the contribution of chronic ER stress to T cell exhaustion and response to checkpoint therapy in sarcomas with applicability for global cancer immunotherapy.

Exploitation of ER Stress Induced Immune Dysfunction to Improve Cancer Immunotherapy

The goal of this project is to study PERK-induced dysregulation of metabolism and proteostasis in CD8 TILs that undermines the success of cancer immunotherapy.

February 2020

Emily D. Gottfried, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has been appointed Director of the Sexual Behaviors Clinic and Lab, conducting evaluations of sexual behavior and provides expert testimony to the courts. Dr. Gottfried also currently serves as the Director of CPSPD Student Education & Research, providing clinical and research supervision and mentoring to students.

Ana Clara Bobadilla Asensio, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, received a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study the neurobiological differences between drug- and natural-reward processing. Dr. Bobadilla Asensio also received a Travel award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) to attend the 58th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Suzanne Craig, D.V.M., Chair and Professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine, received the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) Joseph J. Garvey Management Award, which recognizes an individual for their outstanding accomplishments in administration, management, or the support of programs relating to the care, quality, or humane treatment of animals used in biomedical research.

Nancy DeMore M.D., FACS, Professor in the Department of Surgery and Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, was highlighted in the "Women as Physicians Spotlight" in the AAMC GWIMS (Group on Women in Medicine and Science) newsletter for Women in Medicine Month (October).

"Celebrating the accomplishments of women in medicine is important to instill in the younger generation that they too can achieve anything that they put their mind to with hard work and perseverance."

Sudie Back, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, is part of a team assessing the use of Zeriscope in veterans with PTSD in a clinical trial. This small camera, the size of a shirt button, allow patients with PTSD to show their physician what they see when going into a stressful situation. Read the MUSC Newscenter article "Veterans with PTSD may benefit from new innovations in technology"

Diann Krywko, M.D., Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, was awarded the American Association of Women Emergency Physicians (AAWEP) Outstanding Mentor of the Year. This award recognizes a female emergency medicine mentor who has significantly impacted/enhanced the career(s) of women mentee(s) in the workplace/circle of influence through research, education, advocacy, or administration. The award was presented in October 2019 at ACEP 19, in Denver, CO.

Lacey MenkinSmith, M.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, has been appointed Deputy Ambassador - Guyana for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). The purpose of this program is to provide ACEP leaders and staff with access to a special network of internationally-oriented member experts who can provide advice and information on issues pertaining to the progress and status of emergency medicine in their assigned countries and serve as official representatives of the College to those countries.

Heather Shaw Bonilha, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director of Doctor of Philosophy in Health and Rehabilitation Science program and Associate Professor in the College of Health Professions, was awarded an R01 titled “Excess Radiation Exposure in Infants and Children from Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies”. She was also appointed Program Director of the newly developed Masters of Science of Speech-Language Pathology program in the Department of Health Professions.

Lynn Schnapp, M.D., Director of and Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, is currently serving as Vice President of the American Thoracic Society and will become President-elect in May 2020.

Barb Rohrer, Ph.D., Professor and Endowed Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology, received an R01 titled "Elastase and elastin peptide activity in age-related macular degeneration." The start date is January 1, 2020.

Tatsiana Beiko, M.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, was recognized as a fellow of the American Thoracic Society. The ATS Fellow designation is a mark of distinction, conferring recognition on members for their accomplishments, dedication, and contributions to the Society as well as to the fields of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

September 2019

Kathleen Brady, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, has been awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Science by South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster.

Dr. Brady is among the top 10 NIH-funded psychiatric researchers in the United States for the last nine years. Dr. Brady has been awarded more than $70 million dollars as the principal investigator in research grants, has led several NIH-funded center grants and has been the co-investigator on numerous additional grants. Read the MUSC Newscenter article "Renowned addiction science researcher wins state's most prestigious honor"

Amy Bradshaw, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiology, has been appointed by Dr. Kathleen Brady, Vice President for Research, as the Research Integrity Officer (RIO). Dr. Bradshaw succeeds Dr. Ed Krug who recently retired.

In her role as RIO, Dr. Bradshaw will be responsible for implementing MUSC’s research misconduct policies and procedures, as well as providing guidance, education, and oversight of allegations and investigations brought forth to the Research Integrity Committee.

Elisha Brownfield, M.D., Director, Strategic Leadership Development and Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, received the Southern Society of General Internal Medicine Senior Leader in GIM Award at the 2019 Southern Regional Meeting in Houston, TX. This prestigious award is given in recognition of her academic medicine leadership skills.

Nandita Nadig, M.D., M.S.C.R., Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, & Sleep Medicine, has been awarded the Parker B. Francis fellowship. The goal of the Parker B. Francis Fellowship Program is to exert a favorable and lasting influence on the field of pulmonary medicine by providing the means to support promising young physicians and scientists for a period of training in research. In 2020, Fellows will receive $225,000 over three years to support research with experienced mentors in many diverse areas of research related to lung biology, critical illness, and control of breathing. Past PBF Fellows have become international leaders in all aspects of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine.

Suzanne Craig, D.V.M., chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine, has recently been installed as President of the Southeastern Branch of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (SEAALAS).

Dee Ford, M.D., M.S.C.R., Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, & Sleep Medicine, received the Research Faculty Mentoring Award at the 13th Annual Department of Medicine Research and Scholarship Symposium. Nominated by mentees, this award is intended to recognize a mentor for excellence in mentoring junior faculty researchers.

Melissa Cunningham, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology & Immunology, won second place in the Outstanding Junior Faculty Research Poster Presentation at the 13th Annual Department of Medicine Research and Scholarship Symposium for “Toll-like receptor 7/8 agonism accelerates disease and causes a fatal myeloproliferative disorder in lupus mice.”

Betty Tsao, Ph.D., Professor in the Division of Rheumatology & Immunology, received an R21 from NIH/NIAMS titled, "Pathogenic role of SAT1 variants in monogenic lupus."

Lindsay McDonald, Ph.D., Research Health Scientist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA, received a Career Development Award (CDA-2) from the Department of Veterans Affairs titled, “Targeting the myeloid lineage to inhibit exacerbation of pulmonary fibrosis due to chronic stress."

April 2019

Marvella Ford, Ph.D., Professor in Public Health Sciences, has been named as one of the YWCA’s Greater Charleston #WhatWomenBring honorees for 2019. Noted for her contributions in healthcare, Dr. Ford and nine other women will be honored during the second annual #WhatWomenBring program on Tuesday, May 21, at 11:00 a.m., at the North Charleston Convention Center.

Past recipient of the WSI John R. Raymond Fellowship, Wendy Balliet, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was awarded a travel grant from the American Society of Transplantation to present at the American Transplant Congress in June.

Dr. Balliet also recently had a first-author publication in the Journal of Renal Care: The non‐directed living kidney donor: Why donate to strangers?

Bärbel (Barb) Rohrer, Ph.D., Professor and Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, has been included in The Ophthalmologist’s Power List 2019 as one of 50 most influential researchers/clinicians in Ophthalmology this year. This year saw a record number of nominations – almost 2,000 – across five categories: Champions for Change, Inventors, Emerging Leaders, Mentors, and Surgical Pioneers.

Dr. Rohrer also recently received the Ernst H. Bárány Prize at a meeting of the International Society of Eye Research (ISER).

Kristine DeLeon-Pennell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology, received the 2019 S&R Foundation Ryuji Ueno award. The Ryuji Ueno Award is given annually to an individual demonstrating outstanding promise based on his/her research in wound healing, tissue remodeling, organ regeneration, or stem cell biology. The award of $30,000 is designated for use in the awardee’s research program in the area of interest to the S&R Foundation.

Deanna Baker-Frost, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology, was honored with the ACR Distinguished Fellow Award, which “recognizes up to ten clinical and research fellows who are in a rheumatology fellowship training program and who have performed meritoriously. The Distinguished Fellow Award is sponsored by the ACR and supported through the ACR Fellows Education Fund.”

Daria Ilatovskaya, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology, was selected as the 2019 American Physiological Society (APS) Renal Section New Investigator Award. This is a very prestigious award given to an APS Renal Section member who is in the early stages of their career and recognizes outstanding investigators who have made meritorious contributions to the areas of research represented by the Renal Section.

Edith Williams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Public Health Sciences and the Division of Rheumatology, received an R01 from NINR entitled “The Peer Approaches to Lupus Self-management (PALS) study: A novel lupus peer mentorship intervention.” Her goal is to recruit 360 African American women with lupus to serve as mentors and mentees in her program.

February, 2019

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn - Throughout her long career in science, Dr. Blackburn has been a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research, having discovered the molecular nature of telomeres – the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that serve as protective caps essential for preserving the genetic information – and co-discovered the ribonucleoprotein enzyme, telomerase. She is also known for her championing of diversity and inclusion in the sciences. Currently, Dr. Blackburn and her UCSF research team continue their work with various cells (including human cells), with the goal of understanding telomerase and telomere biology. She and her research team also collaborate in a wide range of investigations of the roles of telomere biology in human health and diseases, through clinical and other human studies.

Born in Australia, Dr. Blackburn earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Melbourne, and her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in England. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department at Yale University. Professor Blackburn has won many prestigious awards throughout her career including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award for Basic Medical Research, and in 2007 was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.