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2015 Banquet Recognizes Excellence in Research at Purdue

More than 200 Purdue faculty and staff gathered in November for the Excellence in Research Awards dinner, celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of Purdue’s research community.

Among the honorees were faculty members who had received college or school awards for outstanding research during the 2015 fiscal year.  In addition, principal investigators and co-investigators garnering an award of $1 million or more were recognized with the Seed for Success Award. Of the 128 investigators working on one of the 53 Seed for Success projects, 35 investigators earned a bronze acorn award in recognition of their contribution acquiring a $1 million or more award for the first time.

As part of the ceremonies, three received Purdue University’s most prestigious research awards.

Arun K. Ghosh, the Ian P. Rothwell Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University, was honored with the Herbert Newby McCoy Award for his for his extraordinary contributions in broad areas of organic, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry that have improved human health.

Ronnie Wilbur, professor of speech, language an hearing sciences and professor of linguistics, received the Purdue University Research and Scholarship Distinction Award for her work on the linguistic structure of American Sign Language and its application to deaf education

Wojciech Szpankowski, the Saul Rosen Professor of Computer Science and professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the inaugural Arden L. Bement Jr. Award for his outstanding contributions to the development of innovative analytic methods in information theory and computer science.

Their names appear on a plaque in the Purdue Memorial Union.

Click here to read about the current McCoy Award winner.

Click here to read about the current Research and Scholarship Distinction Award winner.

Click here to read about the current Arden L. Bement Jr. Award winner.

Click here to view the Excellence in Research Award program (PDF).

2015 Seed for Success Awards

The Seed for Success Award is given in recognition of the accomplishments of single investigators and teams of investigators for their efforts in obtaining a $1 million dollar or more external sponsored award. The awards listed include single year and multi-year awards received in fiscal year 2015.


  • Angela R. Abbott; Heather A. Eicher-Miller; Melissa Maulding, from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Snap Ed /FNP Project, $5,813,552
  • Anil Kumar Bajaj; Edward J. Berger; Edward F. Morrison, from National Science Foundation, IUSE/PFE: RED: Thought Into Action, $1,993,490
  • Gary R. Bertoline; Leah H. Jamieson; James L. Mullins, from Lilly Endowment Inc., Purdue Moves Indiana Forward, $40,000,000
  • Barrett Caldwell, from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, IN Space Grant Fellowship Program, $1,375,000
  • Weinong W. Chen; Marcial Gonzalez; Marisol Koslowski; Terry Meyer; Jeffrey F. Rhoads; Steven F. Son, from Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Real-time Dynamic Measurements and Characterization of Mesoscale Deformation and Temperature Fields in Explosive Materials under Impact and Periodic Loading, $1,327,427
  • Weinong W. Chen, from Department of the Army, Development of a Predictive Indicator for Fabric Ballistic Performance, $1,013,400
  • Ji-Xin Cheng; Mingji Dai; Andrew M. Weiner, from W. M. Keck Foundation, Microsecond Time Scale Vibrational Spectral Imaging of Living Systems, $1,000,000
  • Ryan M. Drenan, from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Function in the Mesolimbic Dopamine System, $1,667,829
  • Ulrike Dydak; Sebastien Helie; Dorothy Teegarden, from National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, 3T MRI Scanner dedicated to Life Sciences Research, $2,000,000
  • Jane R. Frankenberger; Laura C. Bowling; Bernard A. Engel; Eileen J. Kladivko; Linda S. Prokopy, from National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA), Managing Water for Increased Resiliency of Drained Agricultural Landscapes, $4,997,009
  • Marcia L. Gentry; Yukiko Maeda; Kristina Paul; Jennifer C. Richardson, from U.S. Department of Education, Developing Talents and Improving Student Achievement Among Traditionally Underrepresented Populations: An Experimental Investigation Scaling-up the Total School Cluster Grouping Model, $2,468,371
  • Arun K. Ghosh, from Stem Cent Rx, Stem Cent Rx, $1,000,000
  • Jeffrey P. Greeley; Volkan Ortalan; Fabio H. Ribeiro, from National Science Foundation, DMREF: Collaborative Research: Design Of Multifunctional Catalytic Interfaces from First Principles, $1,160,000
  • Marlene O. Heeg, from Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2015 CLF EXPAND Series, $1,200,000
  • Michael G. Heinz, from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH), Effects of Sensorineural Hearing Loss on Robust Speech Coding, $1,612,027
  • Lori A. Hoagland; Daniel S. Egel; Tesfaye D. Mengiste, from National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA), Practical Approach to Controlling Foliar Pathogens in Organic Tomato Production through Participatory Breeding and Integrated Pest Management, $1,987,150
  • Randall A. Hountz; David R. McKinnis, from Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Statewide Medicaid-Eligible Incentive Meaningful Use Assistance, $2,309,378
  • Wen Jiang, from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), HBGA Receptors in Host Cell Entry and Infection of Norovirus, $2,453,914
  • Mary E. Johnson; Jay Gore; Gozdem Kilaz; James M. Thom, from Federal Aviation Administration, NextGeN Alternative for GA Phase I - Rig Testing Support, $1,900,000
  • Jeffrey D. Karpicke, from U.S. Department of Education, Computer-Based Guided Retrieval Practice for Elementary School Children, $1,499,697
  • Nicole L. Key, from Rolls-Royce, Inc., 3-Stage Compressor Research for Rear Block Performance, $2,517,951
  • Nicole L. Key, from Rolls-Royce, Inc., CSTAR Performance Research, $2,250,248
  • Yeong E. Kim, from Cumberland & Western Resources, Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, $2,488,596
  • Regina A. Kreisle, from Indiana University, IUSM West Lafayette, $2,568,945
  • Douglas J. LaCount; Ananth Y. Grama; Ernesto S. Nakayasu, from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), Emerging Virus-Host Cell Protein Interaction Networks, $3,541,057
  • Chantal Levesque-Bristol; David Nelson, from U.S. Department of Education, Success through Transformative Education and Active Learning, $2,373,003
  • Zhongming Liu, from National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), Multimodal Hyperspectral Imaging of Brain Activity and Connectivity, $2,342,874
  • Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth; Melissa M. Franks; Shawn D. Whiteman, from U.S. Army Medical Reserves Acquisition Activity, Changing Family Roles-Across the Deployment Cycle, $3,547,933
  • Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth; Sharon L. Christ; James E. Dietz; Dave Topp, from National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA), Using ‘Practical Rigor’ to Evaluate U.S. Military Family Support Programs: Development and Implementation Plans, $1,363,636
  • Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, from Lilly Endowment Inc., Mobilizing Innovation to Support Military and Veteran Families, $3,573,000
  • Maureen C. McCann; Mahdi M. Abu-Omar; Rakesh Agrawal; Nicholas C. Carpita; Clint C. Chapple; W. Nicholas Delgass; Hilkka I. Kenttamaa; Richard Meilan; Nathan S. Mosier; Fabio H. Ribeiro, from U.S. Department of Energy, Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio), $12,000,000
  • Kevin T. McNamara, from U.S. Agency for International Development, Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project – II, $2,999,398
  • Michael J. Manfra, from Microsoft Corporation, Materials for Topological Quantum Computing, $4,130,000
  • Matthew W. Ohland; Daniel M. Ferguson, from National Science Foundation, Optimizing Student Team Skill Development Using Evidence-Based Strategies, $1,707,830
  • Helen Patrick, Panaota Y. Mantzicopoulos-James, from Institute of Education Services, Measuring Effective Teaching across Core Academic Content Areas in Kindergarten, $1,599,681
  • Santiago Pujol; Ann C. Catlin; Michael J. McLennan; Chungwook Sim; Lisa D. Zilinski, from National Science Foundation, Building a Modular Cyber-Platform for Systematic Collection, Curation, and Preservation of Large Engineering and Science Data - A Pilot Demonstration Project, $1,500,000
  • Jeffrey F. Rhoads; George T. Chiu; Steven F. Son, from Defense Threat Reduction Agency, SecureMEMS: Fundamental Research in MEMS/Energetic Material Integration, $1,048,697
  • Michael Rossmann, from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), Structural Studies of Bacteriophage T4 and Their Potential Medical Applications, $3,207,875
  • Sandra F. San Miguel; Omolola A. Adedokun; Wilella D. Burgess; Kauline S. Cipriani; Alejandro Cuza-Blanco; Loran C. Parker, from National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, This Is How We Role: Inspiring Future Researchers Through Veterinary Medicine, $1,184,230
  • Susan M. Scachitti, from Department of Veterans Affairs, VA-CASE Lean Management System, $2,081,738
  • Vladimir M. Shalaev; Alexandra Boltasseva, from Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Active Metasurfaces for Advanced Wavefronts Engineering and Waveguiding, $1,651,172
  • Garth J. Simpson; Chittaranjan Das, from National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH), NonLinear Optical Imaging for Guiding Protein Structure Determination, $1,098,713
  • Lowell D. Snow, from National Institute of Standards & Technology, Award Competition for Indiana Hollings NIST MEP Center, $13,793,440
  • Wojciech Szpankowski; Ruben C. Aguilar; Mikhail J. Atallah; Clifton W. Bingham; Supriyo Datta; Ananth Y. Grama; Suresh Jagannathan; Aditya P. Mathur; Jennifer L. Neville; Zygmunt Pizlo; Yuan Qi; Doraiswami Ramkrishna; Vernon J. Rego; Mark Daniel Ward, from National Science Foundation, Emerging Frontiers of Science of Information, $25,681,884
  • Lynne S. Taylor; Raymond E. Galinsky; Garth J. Simpson, from Food and Drug Administration, Formulation, Processing and Performance Interrelationships for Amorphous Solid Dispersions, $1,500,000
  • James M. Thom; Mary E. Johnson, from Federal Aviation Administration, NextGeN Alternative Fuels for GA Phase I Material Compatibility Testing, $1,220,000
  • Lefteri Tsoukalas; Chan K. Choi, from National Nuclear Security Administration, Proposal for a Consortium for Nonproliferation-Enabling Capabilities, $1,587,000
  • Fuqiang Wang; Wei Xie, from U.S. Department of Energy, Study QCD Matter Under Extreme Conditions By Particle Correlation And Heavy Flavor Probes In Relativistic Heavy Ion Collisions, $1,650,000
  • Vikki Marie Weake, from National Eye Institute (NIH), Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression in the Aging Eye, $1,902,765
  • Connie M. Weaver; Bruce R. Cooper; Mario Ferruzzi; Elsa M. Janle; George P. McCabe, from National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), Berries and Bones, $3,698,084
  • Fenggang Yang; Jonathan E. Pettit, from John Templeton Foundation, Chinese Religious Markets and Spiritual Capital: A Research and Networking Initiative, $3,499,820
  • Jeffrey P. Youngblood; George T. Chiu; Alexander Wei; Pablo D. Zavattieri, from National Science Foundation, SNM: Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing of Films and Laminates Based on Cellulose Nanomaterials, $1,477,970
  • Pablo D. Zavattieri, from Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Convergent Evolution to Engineering: Multiscale Structures and Mechanics in Damage Tolerant Functional Bio-composite and Biomimetic Materials, $1,050,000

Previous Seed for Success web pages can be accessed using the following links:

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