Awards and Honors

Our faculty and students are the heart and soul of Ohio State.

They are leading the drive to enrich the lives of people in Ohio, across the nation and around the world with energy, passion and intellect.

Let’s take a look at the ways they are earning acclaim for their creativity, vision and research.



Thomson Reuters’ Highly-Cited Researchers

Recognized by their peers for work vital to
the advancement of science. These researchers are some of the world’s
leading scientists.


Elected Fellows
of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science

Elected faculty members specialize in
disciplines from cancer treatment to
number theory.


Received NSF
Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards

Given as the most prestigious award offered by the National Science Foundation in support of junior faculty who exemplify
the role of teacher-scholars.

Distinguished Scholars

The award recognizes six faculty members annually for their exceptional scholarly accomplishments and substantial compilation of research. The 20142015 honorees are listed below.













Young Investigator Research Program

The Young Investigator Research Program awards, from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, foster creative basic research in science and engineering and enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators.

Robert Baker (chemistry and biochemistry) focuses on understanding the mechanism of catalytic selectivity during electrochemical CO2 reduction using nonlinear soft X-ray spectroscopy.

Cosmin Blaga (physics) studies complex systems in intense, ultrafast mid-infrared laser fields.

Yuejie Chi (electrical and computer engineering and biomedical informatics) focuses on low-complexity inference strategies for large-scale data streams.

Yuejie Chi also received a Young Investigator Program award from the Office of Naval Research. She is developing a comprehensive framework for extracting useful parameters from high-dimensional multi-modal datasets that are extremely noisy, incomplete and/or corrupted to enable better decision making for data collected from various sensing and surveillance platforms exploited by the Navy.

Department of Energy Early Career Research Award

Robert Baker (chemistry and biochemistry) became the first Ohio State researcher to receive the Department of Energy Early Career Research Award. He is exploring the use of nanomaterials and solid-state electronic devices for chemical energy conversion and highly-selective catalysis.

Greenwall Faculty Scholar

Efthimios Parasidis (law and public health) received a 2014-2017 Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics award. The program provides outstanding young bioethics researchers with salary support to develop their research programs, as well as feedback on their research, mentoring from senior bioethicists and opportunities to develop collaborations with other researchers. Parasidis’ research focuses on the regulation of medical products and human subjects research, the interplay between health law and intellectual property and the application of health information technology to public health policy. He is Ohio State’s first Greenwall Scholar.

Humboldt Research Prize

Heather Allen (chemistry and biochemistry) has been awarded the Humboldt Research Prize from Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award is presented to researchers whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline, and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements. Awardees are invited to conduct research with German colleagues.

National Medal of Arts

Ann Hamilton (art) received the highest award given to artists by the U.S. government—the prestigious National Medal of Arts. In her four-decade career as an installation artist, she has often worked with the senses to powerfully highlight cultural and social issues. Her work demonstrates the importance of experiencing the arts first-hand in the digital age.

Wolf Prize in Agriculture

Linda Saif (animal health and veterinary preventive medicine) received the Wolf Prize in Agriculture for her work on viral diseases of critical importance to farm animals, food safety and human health. Her contributions have led to new ways to design vaccines and vaccination strategies and her discoveries have contributed immensely to the improvement of global food safety, food production and animal and human health. She is the first Ohio State scientist and the first woman to earn this prestigious award.

Michael P. Malone
International Leadership

Wondwossen Gebreyes (veterinary preventive medicine) received the 2015 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to international education at public land-grant institutions. Gebreyes leads the One Health Ethiopia initiative, which connects Ohio State with Addis Ababa University, the University of Gondar and 19 Ethiopian and U.S. institutes to improve health, build capacity and provide learning opportunities for students.

Academy of Arts
and Sciences

Tin-Lun Ho (mathematics and physical sciences) and Roger Ratcliff (social and behavioral sciences) were elected 2015 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most elite honorary societies. Ho was recognized for his research in condensed matter. Ratcliff was recognized for contributions in cognitive psychology.

National Academy of

Ching-Shih Chen (medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy) and Yasuko Rikihisa (veterinary biosciences) were named 2014 National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellows. Caroline Whitacre (vice president for research and microbial infection and immunity) and Katrina Cornish (bioemergent materials) were named 2015 NAI Fellows. Chen developed new classes of cancer therapeutic agents, including two new anti-cancer drugs in clinical trials. Rikihisa developed a parasite screening test that is included in the annual health screening panel for all dogs, and has since become the global standard parasite test. Whitacre developed a peptide that offers significant promise for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and was honored for creating an environment at Ohio State that fosters innovation and the translation of inventions. Cornish has had tremendous impact on the development of alternative natural rubber sources and applications, spanning a range of fields, including transgenic enabling technologies, process engineering and medical products and devices. NAI Fellows are nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation.

Chen and Rikihisa were recognized by the university as Innovators of the Year, in 2010 and 2011, respectively for the commercial significance and impact of their work.

Ohio State’s Most
Innovative Researchers

The annual Innovator of the Year awards recognize Ohio State faculty, staff and students working actively to promote commercialization of university intellectual property through invention disclosures filed, patents applied for and/or received, technologies licensed or spin-off companies formed. Read about the 2014 and 2015 winners.

2014 Innovator of the Year

Ali Rezai (neurological surgery) is in constant pursuit of new ways to end pain and suffering for patients living with disabilities. His research focuses on neural circuitry, neurological sensors and monitors and development of surgical tools and new neuromodulation approaches. He has developed technologies that regulate specific targets in the central nervous system to treat and alleviate the symptoms of a host of neurological disorders.

In collaboration with investigators from medicine, engineering and the arts and sciences, Rezai initiated the first U.S. trials for deep brain stimulation to treat traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholism and obesity. Working with engineers and scientists from Ohio State and Battelle, Rezai implanted a microchip (Neurobridge) into a patient’s brain that was linked to an external prosthetic sleeve. The procedure allowed the quadriplegic man to move his hand for the first time in four years using his thoughts.

Rezai holds 35 issued U.S. patents and has more than 50 pending for medical devices and technologies. Three spin-off companies are based on his technology and scientific work.

Rezai is the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Chair in Neuromodulation, director and CEO of the Ohio State Neurological Institute and director of the Ohio State Center for Neuromodulation.

2015 Innovator of the Year

Robert Lee (pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry) focuses on the design and development of novel targeted drug delivery systems based on lipid and/or polymer-based nanoparticles.

Lee has invented a series of novel liposome and lipid nanoparticle formulations during his 18 years at Ohio State. These discoveries have resulted in numerous patent applications, invention disclosures, licensing agreements, sponsored research agreements and business startups—and most importantly, have resulted in new and more effective ways to diagnose and treat prostate, ovarian, colon and lung cancers.

In September 2014, a portfolio of Lee’s lipid nanoparticle patents, along with miRNA patents of Carlo Croce (molecular virology, immunology and molecular genetics) was licensed to Microlin Bio Inc. in the university’s largest licensing deal in more than a decade. The portfolio includes nearly 100 issued and pending microRNA patents, as well as a novel nucleic acid delivery technology to distribute these transformational therapies to cancer cells.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Inc. licensed Lee’s proprietary nanoparticle delivery technology that specifically targets tumors with oligonucleotides in a way that increases potency and reduces side effects.

In addition, Lee has invented a novel liposomal formulation of the anticancer drug bortezomib, which has increased therapeutic activity and reduced toxicity in acute myelogenous leukemia – and he has invented a novel liposomal formulation for therapy of multiple myeloma.

2014 Early Career Innovator of the Year

Kubilay Sertel (electrical and computer engineering) developed and commercialized the first real-time, high sensitivity terahertz camera used for medical, communication and security applications. Unlike commercial optical cameras that capture light photons using semiconductor-based sensors, Sertel’s video camera “sees” in THz wavelengths that use microscopic-scale antennas to capture THz power for detection. THz waves contain a wealth of information that allow for immediate applications that include security screening through clothing, identification of explosive compounds and breast cancer detection.

Sertel has one issued U.S. patent and two U.S. patents pending. His camera has been commercialized by Traycer Systems Inc. Sertel’s company, TeraProbes Inc., an Ohio State spin-off founded in 2014, received funding from the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation Start-up Fund to enable commercialization
of an efficient method of testing next generation electronic chips.

2015 Early Career Innovator of the Year

Melissa Bailey (optometry) works in the areas of visual optics and the development of myopia. Her research is leading to new technologies that are changing the way health care providers diagnose and treat visual impairment.

In 2014, she won the Big Ideas for Health competition hosted by the IDEA Studio for Healthcare and Design at the Wexner Medical Center for a mobile software application, called TESA (The Eye Scan App). TESA allows health care practitioners to make many different measurements of the eye, including an estimate of a patient’s glasses prescription and a new, automated measurement of eye alignment. Current testing for eye misalignment, a condition which causes blurred vision and can’t be corrected after the age of 10, requires high-level technical expertise and specialized equipment. Because of the dramatically simplified hardware and ease of use, Bailey’s device can be used in any location at a fraction of the cost of existing devices. The invention was licensed in 2014 by the start-up company Sight4All.

Bailey is also collaborating with emeritus professor Joseph Barr (optometry) on the development of a new bifocal contact lens design – the Buck-Eye Contact lens, which received a provisional patent in September 2015. And her non-invasive imaging technique for measuring the size and shape of the eye’s ciliary muscle was issued a patent in June 2015.

2014 Student Innovator of the Year

David Maung (computer science and engineering) is the chief architect and software developer for an at-home gaming program for stroke patients experiencing motor weakness from hemiparesis, an inability to move one side of the body. Hemiparesis affects 325,000 individuals each year, but less than one percent of those affected receive constraint-induced (CI) movement therapy to improve motor function.

Recognizing the need for a low-cost, accessible therapy to improve function, Maung led a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists in the software development for “Recovery Rapids,” an innovative 3D computer-gaming version of CI that provides in home, high repetition motor exercises. The exercises target the affected hand, arm and shoulder and encourage use of the weaker arm to perform routine daily activities.

What’s next? The formation of a corporation called “Games That Move You” to disseminate the therapy.

2015 Student Innovator of the Year

A team of five graduate students from the College of Nursing developed a mobile app that provides Columbus’ underserved populations with confidential, free, easy access to community resources. The team members are: Sarah-Jane Baserman, Megan Miller-Lloyd, Phillip Newman, Stephanie Ritchie and Hayley Townsend.

What started as a class project to create a resource to tackle a community health problem turned into “MobileYou”—a solution to help low-income and vulnerable populations gain access to food pantries and free meals, free health care clinics and mental health resources, housing and shelters, transportation, employment opportunities and more.

The team submitted an invention disclosure to the Technology Commercialization Office. They plan to make the MobileYou app more robust by adding additional agencies and services, many of whom contacted them after seeing the app featured on a local news broadcast. The team would like to broaden the reach of the app to other cities and states.


Luce Scholar

Jacob Bogart (globalization studies and French) was named Ohio State’s first Luce Scholar. The Luce Scholars Program, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, is a nationally-competitive scholarship program to enhance understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society.

Udall Scholar

Rebecca Plumage (psychology) was recognized by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation for her commitment to a career related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native health care. She plans to serve Native American foster children in urban areas in her home state of South Dakota.

Churchill Scholar

Jonathan Timcheck (physics) was named Ohio State’s fourth Churchill Scholar. He wants to become a professor at a major university, teaching students and developing data analysis techniques to study fundamental particle interactions in particle accelerator experiments.

Truman Scholar

David Danesh (microbiology) was awarded a Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He plans to pursue a career in dental public health, focusing on underserved populations in urban and Appalachian regions.

Tillman Military Scholar

Greg Freisinger, a PhD student (mechanical engineering) and a U.S. Army veteran who earned a Bronze Star for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, was named Ohio State’s first Tillman Military Scholar. The program was established in 2004 by the Pat Tillman Foundation to invest in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships to build a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. Freisinger, who researches intra-operative knee laxity and outcomes following total knee replacement, wants to be an advocate for wounded service members and initiate research programs that will advance the current state of rehabilitation and improve quality of life.

Goldwater Scholars

The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious national award presented to undergraduate researchers in science, math and engineering in the U.S. Five Ohio State students were recognized in 2014-2015 by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

Alexis Crockett (neuroscience and psychology) is investigating the effects of the antidepressant ketanserin on chronic neuroinflammation, a potential contributor to major depressive disorder.

Katrin Daehn (materials science and engineering) is investigating nickel-based superalloys used at General Electric.

Tyler Friesen (mathematics) is researching new planarity conditions for X-graphs.

Joseph Gauthier (chemical engineering) is studying the rheology of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing to find more eco-friendly chemicals for use in fracking fluids.

Henry Tran (chemistry and mathematics) is conducting research on Jahn-Teller distortions of the NO3 molecule.

Denman Undergraduate Research Forum

The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015, showcasing the importance of research in Ohio State’s undergraduate educational programs. Students are provided with an opportunity to showcase their research and scholarly work before a group of faculty and corporate judges. More than 600 students presented their projects that ranged from the impact of music education in a developing country (Jamaica), to parameter selection for segregating speech from background noise, to investigating a new approach for harvesting low-grade thermal energy using an electrochemical system, to an adaptive multi-sensor data fusion model for in-situ Mars exploration.

National EcoCAR Competition

The EcoCAR 2 team (15 graduate and 30 undergraduate students representing a wide range of majors including mechanical and electrical engineering, business and photography) finished first overall in EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future. This three-year competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and 30 leading government and industry organizations provided teams with real world experience as they worked to improve the environmental impact and energy efficiency of a Chevrolet Malibu.

The EcoCAR 3 team earned top honors in year one of EcoCAR 3, a four-year competition to re-engineer a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a performance hybrid. Sixteen university teams from across the U.S. and Canada participated in the competition. The Ohio State team placed in the top five in 27 of 31 scored events, including six first place and three second place finishes.

Electric Motorcycle Team

The Buckeye Current electric motorcycle team placed third—for the second year in a row—in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) race in 2014. The only U.S. collegiate team to compete in the race, the Buckeye Current set a new collegiate record with an average speed of 93.531 mph.

The team brought home a second place finish in the all-electric class at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competition with a time of 11:12.752. The team finished 16th overall out of 52 electric and gasoline-powered motorcycles. Despite tremendous setbacks—an accident on a practice run resulted in major damage to the bike and the need for a new rider—the team persevered to ensure that its bike made it to the summit of Pikes Peak. Buckeye Current was the only student-built motorcycle to race this year.

KAir Battery

KAir Battery is developing energy efficient and cost effective large-scale stationary potassium air batteries. Unlike competing products, KAir’s batteries produce non-toxic and recyclable byproducts at the end of their lifetime. After winning the 2014 Ohio State Business Plan Competition, the team went on to win the $100,000 Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Prize.

General Motors Innovation Challenge

Student teams from five universities (Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Penn State) competed in the final round of the General Motors Innovation Challenge held in Detroit. Teams were challenged with looking for creative methods to develop and present quick and cost-effective ways of incorporating new and rapidly advancing technologies into existing manufacturing facilities. The Ohio State team captured top honors in the challenge. Team members Patrick Beal and Brian Bachir (mechanical engineering), Abed Traboulsi (biomedical engineering) and Geoff Hardy (finance) proposed an energy harvesting solution to minimize GM’s carbon footprint and potentially impact the future sustainability of manufacturing.

Buckeye Bullet

Ohio State’s Venturi Buckeye Bullet team successfully chased down another international record for electric land speed vehicles in 2015. Professional driver Roger Schroer guided the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 to an average two-way speed of 240.320 miles per hour. Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 was designed and built by undergraduate and graduate students at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in partnership with Monaco-based Venturi Automobiles. The Buckeye Bullet experience is a unique training opportunity and proving ground for Ohio State’s brightest and most dedicated students, many of whom have moved on to successful careers in industry at companies such as Ford, Boeing, A123 and Lockheed Martin.

43North Business Plan Competition

Genetesis LLC, a biotech company founded by Peeyush Shrivastava (biomedical science) received $250,000 in the 43North Business Plan Competition, the world’s largest business idea competition. Genetesis was selected as a finalist from more than 6,900 applicants from 96 countries and all 50 states. The company’s technology is geared towards optimizing drug design for the treatment of heart rhythm disorders through the application of novel algorithms that analyze real-time functional heart electrophysiology. Using a patent-pending system, Genetesis is able to quantify responsiveness to drugs before they are administered. Genetesis also won the $10,000 People’s Choice Award for generating the most tweets using a designated hashtag unique to their company over a two week period.