Researcher of the Year awards for 2023 celebrate excellence in discovery and impact

University of Illinois Chicago research tackles today’s most meaningful subjects, from health inequities and the history of immigration to electromagnetic technologies and the atomic structure of matter. The UIC Research and Scholarship Annual Awards, presented by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, honor the exceptional work of faculty members at the forefront of their fields in science and humanities.

This year’s class of early-career Rising Stars and Distinguished Scholars have demonstrated outstanding career achievements in five categories. The Inventor of the Year is awarded each year by the Office of Technology Management to a faculty member or team who has contributed to the development of intellectual property that significantly impacts their field and society. And two new categories were added this year to honor faculty mentorship and postdoctoral research.

Awardees were celebrated in an April 17 ceremony at the Field Museum of Natural History. Here’s the full list of this year’s recipients, with links to profiles on each faculty member’s work and impact.

A woman in a black dress receives an award from a woman in a blue blazer.
Ardith Doorenbos receives the Rising Star award from Vice Chancellor of Research Joanna Groden (Photo: Martin Hernandez/UIC)

Clinical Sciences
Rising Star: Natasha Crooks — How can we better protect Black girls’ and women’s sexual and reproductive health?
Distinguished Researcher: Ardith Doorenbos — Are there proven alternatives to medication for managing pain?

Basic Life Sciences
Rising Star: Andrew Riley — Can plants provide new medicines for pain and addiction?
Distinguished Researcher: John Nitiss — How can yeast and genetics reveal how anti-cancer drugs work?

Natural Sciences and Engineering
Rising Star: Pai-Yen Chen — How can new wireless technologies improve health care, security and energy?
Distinguished Researcher: Robert Klie — How can we see the fundamental building blocks of life and matter?

Social Sciences
Rising Star: Nicole Nguyen — How has U.S. national security policy affected everyday life?
Distinguished Researcher: Claire Laurier Decoteau — How can crises help us better understand community health inequities?

Humanities, Arts, Design and Architecture
Rising Star: Adam Goodman — How did the history of U.S. immigration shape our modern world
Distinguished Scholar: Christina Pugh — How can poetry capture the lived experience?

Inventor of the Year
Deepak Shukla — Can new drugs prevent blindness and other damage from herpesvirus infections?

Postdoctoral Scholar of the Year
Zeenat Farooq — What are the cellular connections between diabetes and dementia?

Faculty Mentor of the Year
Todd Lee — Helping students map out their professional future

Print Friendly, PDF & Email