This amazing growth is due to many generous donors … and the highly successful Research Challenge Trust Fund, otherwise known as ‘Bucks for Brains,’ supported by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, President James Ramsey said told the audience at the Celebration of Faculty Excellence on Oct. 13.

Newly endowed faculty were among several groups administration recognized at the annual celebration. The following information on those honored comes from the Office of the President and relevant  departments.

Kathy Baumgartner, Henry Vogt professor in cancer prevention and control, School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Kathy Baumgartner, who joined the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health in 2005, has extensive experience in epidemiologic methods. She led the 4-Corners Breast Cancer Study in New Mexico, a case-control study of ethnic differences in risk factors in more than 2,000 women. She has served as co-principal investigator or co-investigator on several other research initiatives, including the Health, Eating, Activity and Lifestyle Study, an ongoing effort to gauge breast cancer prognosis. Baumgartner is the author of a widely cited publication on how smoking and occupational exposures affect idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. She is principal investigator of an NIH-funded study of long-term recurrence, survival and quality of life in women with breast cancer, and a training grant titled Disparities Epidemiology Research Training Program. Baumgartner also is a contributing author for the U.S. Surgeon General’s upcoming report that updates the health consequences of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Mark Boswell, Lolita S. and Samuel D. Weakley endowed research chair in anesthesiology, School of Medicine

Mark Boswell was named chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology, effective Oct. 1. Boswell comes to UofL from Texas Tech, where he was professor of anesthesiology and director of both the International Pain Center and the Pain Medicine Fellowship program. He chaired the Department of Anesthesiology from 2006 to 2009, oversaw its reorganization and led the effort for accreditation of the department’s residency program. The author of more than 100 scientific writings, Boswell’s clinical interests include acute and chronic pain medicine, cancer pain management, bioethics, and palliative care and hospice. His basic science interests include the pharmacology of opioids, brain-derived neutorophic factor and the mechanisms of general anesthesiology. Boswell is an editor for the journal Pain Physician and a reviewer for the journals Spine, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Archives of Internal Medicine and The Clinical Journal of Pain. He is the executive director of the American Board of Interventional Pain Management.

Bradley Keller, Kosair Charities chair in pediatric heart surgery research, School of Medicine

Bradley Keller came to UofL in 2009 as director of pediatric heart research in the Department of Pediatrics and the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. He became vice chair for research in the Department of Pediatrics in 2010. Keller’s career includes clinical pediatric cardiology, basic and translational biomedical research, medical education and administration/leadership. He provides care to children and adults with congenital heart disease in Louisville and outreach locations throughout Kentucky.

Keller collaborates with faculty in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and remains a faculty member in bioengineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He explores innovative telemedicine communication solutions for patients, families and providers to improve pediatric care delivery to rural populations; participates in the medical education and mentoring of medical and basic science students as well as junior faculty; and serves as the U.S. medical director for Touching Hearts in Tibet, a program that has treated thousands children in Tibet with congenital heart disease, which is an effect of high altitude.

Robert Keynton, Lutz endowed chair in bioengineering, J.B. Speed School of Engineering

Robert Keynton is chair and professor of biomechanical devices of the Department of Bioengineering. He came to UofL in 1999 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and was the first chair of bioengineering when the department was formed in 2005. Keynton also has been the senior associate director of UofL’s Micro/NanoTechnology Center and the interim scientific director and endowed chair for the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. At UofL, he has been involved in multidisciplinary research that includes more than $38.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Human Services, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, NASA and the Veterans Administration.

His research interests include BioMEMS, microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip devices, nanofabrication, MEMS modeling, micromechanical machining and cardiovascular mechanics. Keynton co-founded two companies with UofL colleagues. He has 71 peer-reviewed publications, 100 conference papers, three book chapters, one patent and nine provisional/non-provisional patents.

David Magnuson, Friends for Michael endowed chair in spinal cord injury research, School of Medicine and J.B Speed School of Engineering

David Magnuson is an associate professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery with a joint appointment in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology. He has been at UofL since 1995. As a member of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Magnuson runs the Laboratory of Locomotor Systems and Rehabilitation. He also directs KSCIRC’s electrophysiology and behavioral assessment core and its surgery and animal care core. Magnuson has published extensively and collaborates with UofL faculty within KSCIRC and in the departments of surgery, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering, as well as externally. Since his arrival at UofL, Magnuson’s research continuously has been funded by the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust through both of KSCIRC’s COBRE grants; he recently was awarded an NIH grant. Before coming to UofL, Magnuson was an assistant professor of physiology at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

Shesh Rai, Wendell Cherry chair in clinical trial research, School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Shesh Rai came to UofL in November 2007 as the director of the Biostatistics Shared Facility in the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and as associate professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics. Over the past 10 years, he has been involved in writing and reviewing many protocols and retrospective/prospective studies in cancer basic and clinical research, including randomized trials and behavior interventions, in single, multicenter and industry-sponsored studies. He has a decade of experience in developing and analyzing clinical, longitudinal and survey data.

Rai’s research interests are survival analysis, clinical trials, mixed effects (hierarchical) models, sample survey, bioinformatics and quantitative risk assessment. He has served on NIH review panels as well as on projects for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council and Cistel Technology in Canada. Since graduating from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1993, Rai has served as statistical reviewer for many national and international scientific journals. He also has written more than 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Winsor Schmidt, Endowed chair in urban health policy, School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Winsor Schmidt is the endowed chair/distinguished scholar in urban health policy and professor of health management and systems sciences, School of Public Health and Information Sciences. He also is professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and family and geriatric medicine in the School of Medicine. Schmidt’s publications include the books Public Guardianship and the Elderly (Ballinger Publishing Company) and Guardianship: Court of Last Resort for the Elderly and Disabled (Carolina Academic Press). He co-wrote Public Guardianship After 25 Years: In the Best Interest of Incapacitated People? (Praeger), and has written more than 80 book chapters, journal articles and reports on health and mental health law and policy issues.

Schmidt’s work informs health, social service and legal professionals as well as judges and legislators about the findings, analyses, conclusions and implications from more than 30 years of national and state research on guardianship and protective services for the elderly and disabled. His teaching experience includes graduate courses on health law and policy, mental health law, aging policy and law, women’s health law and policy, children’s health law and policy, social science in law and international health law and bioethics.

Rebecca Tamas, Auerbach family endowed chair in psycho-oncolog, School of Medicine

Rebecca Tamas is the Auerbach endowed chair of psycho-oncology and serves as director of the Psycho-Oncology Service. She is associate director of medical student education for the Department of Psychiatry.

Tamas’ clinical activities include providing outpatient psychiatric services to adult patients with mood, anxiety and other mental disorders. Her primary clinical focus is treating patients and families affected by cancer. She works with other medical and surgical specialty providers at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center to enhance the multidisciplinary approach to cancer care.

In addition to her clinical service, Tamas is a preceptor to medical students and resident physicians in the outpatient clinic. She serves as an academic advisory dean to medical students and is a member of the School of Medicine’s educational policy and diversity committee, and the Brown Cancer Center’s cancer committee. Tamas is the immediate past president of the Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association and is the Area V Early Career Psychiatrists representative to the American Psychiatric Association Assembly. She won a national Junior Faculty Award from the Association for Academic Psychiatry.

John Trent, Wendell Cherry endowed chair in cancer translational research, School of Medicine

John Trent, an associate professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology, and chemistry, recently was appointed director of the Kosair Pediatric Oncology Research program. Trent also leads the drug discovery efforts at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (JGBCC), where he and his collaborators have licensed three anticancer candidates for future development. He established a state-of-the-art computational biology facility at the cancer center to aid in research. The Trent Laboratory partners with the Kentucky Dataseam Initiative to harness the untapped computing power sitting throughout the state’s K-12 schools and businesses, allowing researchers to greatly speed up the screening of molecular compounds for potential cancer treatments.

Trent has been at UofL since 1999. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed research papers and his collaborative work has been featured on the cover of such scientific journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nucleic Acids Research and Biopolymers. In the last five years, 11 research disclosures and patents have been filed based on his and collaborators’ work.

Shiao Woo, Kosair Children’s Hospital/Norton Healthcare chair in pediatric oncology, School of Medicine

Shiao Woo came to UofL this year as endowed professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology from the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Woo is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric hematology-oncology and radiation oncology. His areas of clinical and research interest are tumors of the blood, bone, nervous system and soft tissue in children and adults, and he has published more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals and written more than 20 book chapters.

Besides serving as professor of radiation oncology and section chief of the Division of Central Nervous System and Pediatric Cancers at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center, Woo also served on the faculties of Georgetown University, Tufts University and the Baylor College of Medicine. He was residency director for the departments of radiation oncology at both MD Anderson and Baylor, and he was associate chairman for research at Baylor.

The Celebration of Faculty Excellence took place at the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium Brown & Williamson Club. Administration honored:

  • the President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards for outstanding service; teaching; and scholarship, research and creative activity
  • the President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award
  • newly endowed chairs and professors
  • Paul Weber Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award
  • university scholars and distinguished university scholars
  • creative work resulting in new patents and licenses

UofL Today featured recipients of the President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards and the President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award on Oct. 19. Tomorrow we will feature university scholars and distinguished university scholars.