Accolades — September 2023


Katherine R. Spindler, professor of microbiology and immunology in the Medical School, is the recipient of the American Society for Virology’s 2023 Wolfgang and Patricia Joklik Distinguished Service Award, recognizing service to the field of virology. Spindler is a leading researcher on adenoviruses, a group of viruses that cause a wide range of symptoms including cold-like symptoms, acute gastroenteritis, pneumonia and conjunctivitis. She complements her research with extensive public communication and outreach efforts. Since 2012, Spindler has been a co-host of “This Week in Virology,” a podcast that aims to educate both non-scientists and scientists about virology and virology-related topics of public interest.

Four Spectrum Center staff members have been elected to serve important roles within the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Director Jesse Beal, program specialist Lorant Peeler and graduate student researcher Des Velázquez were elected to the board of directors, and program manager Angie Freeman is a regional representative. This marks the first time four successful candidates have come from the same institution. The consortium is a leading national group supporting individuals who work on campuses to educate and support people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as advocate for more inclusive policies and practices through an intersectional and racial justice framework.

Victoria Booth, professor of mathematics in LSA and associate professor of anesthesiology in the Medical School, is the recipient of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics’ 2023 J. D. Crawford Prize for her exceptional research in mathematical biology and, in particular, the formulation, analysis and interpretation of dynamical systems models of sleep-wake cycles.

Rosina Bierbaum, professor of natural resources and environment and dean emerita in the School for Environment and Sustainability, and professor of climate and space sciences and engineering in the College of Engineering; and Catharine A. MacKinnon, the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law in the Law School, have been elected to the American Philosophical Society. Membership honors extraordinary accomplishments in a variety of disciplines, including the sciences, humanities and public service. MacKinnon also was named the 27th recipient of the society’s Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence, which recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of jurisprudence and important publications that illustrate that accomplishment.

Scott Gitlin, professor of internal medicine in the Medical School, received a Distinguished Service Member Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. This award is annually given to a handful of AAMC constituents in appreciation for their outstanding contributions to the AAMC through years of service. Over the past several years, Gitlin has served the AAMC in a number of leadership roles, including as a member of the AAMC’s board of directors and as chair of its Council of Faculty and Academic Societies, which serves to represent the faculty voice at the AAMC.

Simpa Salami, associate professor of urology in the Medical School, is among the inaugural cohort of Cancer Moonshot Scholars, a program launched by President Joe Biden last year to support early-career researchers and help build a cancer research workforce that better represents the diversity of America. A White House press release announcing the scholars cited Salami’s work to define the biological fate of low risk (Grade Group 1) prostate cancer. The 11 Cancer Moonshot Scholars will share $5.4 million in funding to aid their research and innovation.

Six U-M administrators and faculty members have been profiled by Crain’s Detroit Business as Notable Leaders in Higher Education from around Michigan. They are:

  • Elizabeth Birr Moje, dean of the Marsal Family School of Education, and George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Education, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, professor of education, and faculty associate in the Institute for Social Research’s Research Center for Group Dynamics.
  • Sara Blair, vice provost for academic and faculty affairs, arts and humanities; Patricia S. Yaeger Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, and professor of English language and literature in LSA.
  • Bryan Boyer, director of urban technology and clinical assistant professor of architecture and urban planning in the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
  • Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research; William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine and professor of emergency medicine in the Medical School, and professor of health behavior and health education in the School of Public Health.
  • Domenico Grasso, chancellor of UM-Dearborn; professor of public policy and administration in the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, and professor of sustainable engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer; professor of engineering practice in the College of Engineering.

Read more about U-M leaders profiled by Crain’s. (Note: Online access requires a paid subscription.)

— Submit requests for faculty or staff Accolades to [email protected]. Please attach a digital photo if you wish for one to be included.


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