Tammy Kielian, Ph.D., is 11th Scientist Laureate

Tammy Kielian, Ph.D., professor in the UNMC Department of Pathology and Microbiology, has been named the 11th UNMC Scientist Laureate.

The award is the highest honor UNMC bestows to researchers.

Dr. Kielian was honored along with 21 other researchers recently named UNMC Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Research Leadership award winners for 2016.

“Tammy Kielian is a ‘spark,'” said Vice Chancellor for Research Jennifer Larsen, M.D. “She is passionate about research and collaborates with many around multiple research interests, including developing new technologies.”

“Tammy is an exceptional individual because of her unique skills in multiple areas including immunology, infectious diseases neurology and genetic disorders,” said Steve Hinrichs, M.D., chair of pathology and microbiology. “She is able to take essential elements from each subdiscipline and apply them to both basic science and clinical therapies.”

“As this year’s UNMC Scientist Laureate, Dr. Kielian joins an impressive list of internationally recognized UNMC faculty who are major contributors to their fields of research,” said Brad Britigan, M.D., dean of the UNMC College of Medicine. “Dr. Kielian’s novel approaches to understand the pathogenesis of staphylococcal infections of prosthetic devices provides hope for addressing an all too common infection that has a major impact on lives throughout the world.

“Furthermore, Dr. Kielian’s ability to simultaneously develop a highly productive and visionary research program to explain and develop a potential therapy for the rare hereditary disease, juvenile Batten disease, that impacted a member of her immediate family, is a testament to her creativity and commitment as an investigator,” he said. “She is very deserving of this recognition by the UNMC research community.”

Other award winners are:

The Research Leadership Award

The Research Leadership Award is intended to honor scientists previously recognized as Distinguished Scientists who have a longstanding research funding history and also serve as research leaders and mentors on campus.

Research Leadership Award

This year’s recipients are:

  • B. Timothy Baxter, M.D., College of Medicine
  • Robert Lewis, Ph.D., Eppley Institute

Distinguished Scientist Award

This year’s recipients are:

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award — which is sponsored by the chancellor — recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Maneesh Jain, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Rongshi Li, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
  • Mark Mailliard, M.D., College of Medicine
  • Kaleb Michaud, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Joseph Norman, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
  • Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Matthew Rizzo, M.D., College of Medicine
  • Sarah Thayer, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D., College of Public Health

New Investigator Awards

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources.
New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Laura Bilek, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
  • Martin Conda Sheridan, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
  • Sung-Ho Huh, Ph.D., Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • R. Katherine Hyde, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Mariano Sanchez-Lockhart, Ph.D., College of Medicine
  • Kimberly Scarsi, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy
  • Jessica Nichols Snowden, M.D., College of Medicine
  • Hanjun Wang, M.D., College of Medicine
  • Wanfen Xiong, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine

Ceremony in January
A campus ceremony will be held Jan. 17 in the Durham Research Center Auditorium to recognize the award recipients, as well as the winner of the Community Service to Research Award, who will be announced later. A reception will follow.


  1. Parthasarathy says:

    Congrats Dr.Jain on your distinguished scientist award.

  2. Kai Fu says:

    Tammy, Congratulations.

  3. Tom O'Connor says:

    Congrats to all our great scientists! Special kudos to Dr. Kielian for all her stellar research. She's a great choice for Scientist Laureate.

  4. Jill (West) Tinnelly says:

    Congrats! Blessed to call you my friend!

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