Florida A&M University (FAMU) University honored 10 faculty members and President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., on Friday, August 30, for their commitment to research excellence. It is a tradition for the University to recognize principal investigators and faculty for their unique and outstanding work during a luncheon at the beginning of the fall semester.
“Every year, I look forward to congratulating faculty who are conducting groundbreaking research while securing funding that is needed to support students who will become the next generation of researchers and who will have major impacts throughout Florida and the world,” said Robinson.
FAMU’s Division of Sponsored Research is on a record-breaking pace to bring more research dollars into the University. This past academic year, FAMU nearly doubled the amount for proposals submitted for funding.
During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, faculty research proposals totaled $99.1 million and $182.1 million during 2018-2019. Research expenditures also increased from $38 million in 2017-2018 to $49.6 million during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
Tarik Dickens, assistant professor in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and Syreeta Tilghman, associate professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS), were both honored with the Emerging Researcher Award.
Dickens’ research focuses on industrial and manufacturing engineering, specifically advanced additive manufacturing. Tilghman focuses on cancer research.
The Distinguished Researcher Award went to three very experienced faculty members: Nazarius Lamango, Ph.D. and Renee Reams, Ph.D., COPPS professors and Henry Neal Williams, Ph.D., professor in the School of Environment.
From left: Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Maurice Edington, Ph.D., President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor Renee Reams, Ph.D., recipient of the Distinguished Researcher Award, and Interim Vice President for Research Charles Weatherford, Ph.D.
Professor Lamango’s research focuses on finding the molecular hallmarks of some of the most difficult to treat cancers with the potential for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Williams is a leading microbiology researcher who specializes in predatory bacteria.
Reams’ research program uses genomics to hunt for genes/gene signatures that might explain the increased prostate cancer incidences and mortality observed in Black males.
The committee recommended the senior faculty members for the award to honor them for their outstanding contributions to research at FAMU.
Two faculty members, Ashvini Chaunhan, associate professor in the School of Environment, and Muhammad Haseeb, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, received the Research Excellence Award.
Chaunhan’s research focuses on restoration ecology, assessments of impacts to environmental micro-organisms from anthropogenic inputs, such as ocean acidification; biodegradation of environmental pollutants and use of microorganisms for biofuels and other value-added products.
The focus of Haseeb’s research is to develop pest management strategies for effective management of invasive and established pest insects in specialty crops.
The Outstanding Faculty Service Award was presented to Maurice S. Holder, Ph.D., in appreciation for his 41 years of dedication, service and loyalty to the University and faculty principles and ideas. Holder is a former Faculty Senate president.
Professor Emeritus in Medicinal Chemistry in COPPS, Kinfe K. Redda, Ph.D., received an award in recognition of his service. He is the author of the Institutional Research Awards and inaugural chair of the Institutional Research Awards Committee.
During the awards luncheon, Robinson received the Outstanding Leadership Award in recognition of his “superior leadership qualities, dedication and selfless service to the University and community.”
He is the principal investigator and director of the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems, a partnership funded by a $15.4 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant.