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Research Achievement Awards honor early, mid-career Brown scholars

The awardees were selected by a Brown faculty panel. In addition to the award, winners will receive a research grant of US$5,000. 2022 Research Achievement Awards recipients include:

David Bader (Cognitive Sciences, Linguistics, and Psychology) received a Mid-Career Research Achievement Award. Badre is a leader in the neuroscience of cognitive control, which affects how the brain translates goals and plans into concrete behaviors. His research has yielded influential insights into how the prefrontal cortex supports the human ability to direct memory retrieval and perform complex, multi-objective tasks. His work has been recognized with a Sloan Fellowship, a James S. McDonnell Fellowship, and a Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. In addition, Badre was a finalist for the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award for his 2020 book On Task. He directs the Division of Cognitive and Perceptual Studies at the National Institutes of Health.

Margaret Hanson Bublitz (Psychiatry and Human Behavior; Medicine) received an Early Career Research Achievement Award. Bublitz examines the pathways that link psychological stress before and during pregnancy to adverse perinatal health, as well as mind-body interventions to reduce stress and reduce the risk of adverse obstetric outcomes. She published some of the first child abuse history research on cortisol levels during pregnancy. Her next study on a phone-delivered mindfulness intervention thought to reduce the risk of developing hypertensive disorders during pregnancy was recently funded by the National Institutes of Health. Bublitz is a practicing clinical psychologist and has been a leader in integrating behavioral health into the primary care and OBGYN divisions of Lifespan’s Women’s Medicine Collaborative.

dr Gaurav Choudhary (Medicine) received a Mid-Career Research Achievement Award. Choudhary is a physician and scientist who conducts fundamental clinical and epidemiological research on pulmonary vascular disease and right ventricular dysfunction. His clinical and epidemiological work on pulmonary hypertension has been influential in redefining the diagnostic criteria for this disease, while his basic scientific research has identified new therapeutic targets. He is currently Director of Cardiovascular Research at Warren Alpert Medical School and Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute and Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the VA Providence Health Care System. He directs a pulmonary hypertension research and clinical program funded by the Providence VA Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health

Hongjie Dong (Applied Mathematics) received a Mid-Career Research Achievement Award for his research on partial differential equations, which are mathematical equations that describe, among other things, the fundamental laws of physics and engineering. He is considered a leading expert in this field and has developed novel tools for the analysis of elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations with important applications in the study of composite theory, fluid dynamics and kinetic theory. He received a National Science Foundation Early Career Award and a prestigious Simons Foundation Fellowship. From 2014 to 2017, Dong was the director of undergraduate studies in Brown’s Department of Applied Mathematics.

Eric Nathan (Music) received an Early Career Research Achievement Award for his instrumental and vocal compositions. Through experimentation with musical structures, visual choreography and new performance techniques, Nathan manipulates the live performance experience. His recent compositions include Missing Words and Some Favored Nook. He has been commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress, and the New England Philharmonic, where he is conducting as composer-in-residence for the 2021-22 academic year. Nathan has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Walter Damrosch Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, and a 2022 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Tara Nummedal (History; Italian Studies) received a Mid-Career Research Achievement Award. Nummedal is a historian of science and gender in early modern Europe. Her 2019 book Anna Zieglerin and the Lion’s Blood: Alchemy and End Times in Reformation Germany examines the politics of alchemy in the Holy Roman Empire through the story of a young alchemist. In 2020 she co-edited the first digitally born book as part of Brown’s Digital Publications initiative, Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s ‘Atalanta fugiens’ (1618) with Scholarly Commentary. Nummedal has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, and a fellowship from the National Endowment of Humanities.

Brenda Rubinstein (Chemistry) received an Early Career Research Achievement Award for her research in theoretical and computational chemistry. She has done pioneering work in the fields of quantum theory and alternative computing and has received a Sloan Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Fellowship, the Air Force Young Investigator Award and was recently named to Scientific American’s 2021 Brilliant 10 list of promising young scientists. She is an advocate for diversity in the STEM field and chairs the Brown Chemistry Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee. Rubenstein also created the Rhode Island Advocate program to mentor underserved students in local high schools and prepare them to participate in scientific research projects and attend local and international science fairs.

Andrew Zullo (Healthcare, Policy and Practice) received an Early Career Research Achievement Award. Zullo researches the optimal use of drugs and vaccines to improve health and minimize side effects in older adults. His work has been highly influential in supporting clinical practice and evidence-based decision making by pharmaceutical companies. He has published more than 105 peer-reviewed articles and received millions in grants over the past four years. Zullo has received the American Geriatrics Society’s New Investigator Award and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists’ Plein Memorial Lecture Award. He is also the outgoing Chair of the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology Geriatrics Special Interest Group.

New Awards for Inventors and Startup of the Year

Two new award categories were introduced this year at the Celebration of Research: the Inventor of the Year Award and the Startup of the Year Award.

“These new categories represent Brown’s commitment to innovation,” said Pipher. “New inventions and the startup companies that result from them are a natural outgrowth of strong faculty research programs.”

Practitioner and scientist Dr. Wafik El-Deiry, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and medical oncologist at Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital in Providence, received the Inventor of the Year Award, which honors the Brown inventor with the most invention disclosures over the past calendar year. With nine disclosures filed in 2021 alone, El-Deiry was a top inventor for Brown Technology Innovations.

Bolden Therapeutics received the Startup of the Year award recognizing the new company that both licensed a Brown technology and raised the most investment capital – all within 2021. Bolden Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing therapeutics to treat diseases of the central nervous system develops, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Bolden’s core technology was supported by a Brown Research Seed Award the company received in 2018.

The Celebration of Research event also honored 21 recipients of the 2022 Seed Awards, given for encouraging promising early-stage research projects, and 14 recipients of the 2022 Salomon Awards, given to recognize exceptional research in various fields, with preference given to young faculty members is given.

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