The University of Kansas Medical Center honors four faculty as University Distinguished Professors

The University of Kansas Medical Center honors four faculty as University Distinguished Professors

Kay Hawes

The University of Kansas Medical Center has named four long-time faculty members University Distinguished Professors, which is an honor reserved for faculty who have made significant and sustained contributions to research, scholarship and teaching at the medical center.

The honorees are:

  • Randolph J. Nudo, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of research in the KU School of Medicine's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and director of the Landon Center on Aging and director of the Institute for Neurological Discoveries
  • James P. Calvet, Ph.D., professor in the KU School of Medicine's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Jared Grantham Kidney Institute
  • Janet D. Pierce, Ph.D., APRN, CCRN, FAAN, the Christine A. Hartley Centennial Professor in Nursing for the KU School of Nursing
  • Susan Carlson, Ph.D., the AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition in the KU School of Health Professions' Department of Dietetics and Nutrition

"We are pleased to recognize the significant contributions that these individuals have made in their fields and at the University of Kansas Medical Center," said Robert Simari, M.D., interim executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center. "Our students, faculty and staff benefit daily from opportunities to learn from and conduct research with these talented professors." 

Major criteria for selection of a University Distinguished Professor include:

  • A faculty rank of professor
  • A distinguished record of scholarship. Nominees should be recognized leaders in their field and should rank among the most eminent scholars in their field nationally and internationally
  • Evidence of peer-reviewed extramural grant funding over their career
  • A proven record of interest and concern with growth and success of their institutions, colleagues and students
  • Demonstrated breadth of involvement in related fields as exemplified by participation in university affairs and professional organizations
  • A notable record of service to his or her discipline at the local, state, regional, national and/or international level

Information about the Honorees

Randolph Nudo
Nudo has been a member of the KU Medical Center faculty since 1997, where his research focuses on understanding the brain's self-repair capacity after injury and on developing novel therapeutic approaches based on neuroscientific principles. He is recognized internationally for his work on the effects of rehabilitative training on functional plasticity after stroke, and he is a frequent speaker at national and international symposia on stroke, neurology, physical therapy and rehabilitation. He serves on the National Advisory Board for Rehabilitation Research at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke's prestigious Javits Investigator Award in Neuroscience as well as the Bugher Award and an Established Investigatorship by the American Heart Association. He is the Marian Merrell Dow Distinguished Professor in Aging.

James Calvet
Calvet joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1981 and is a national authority on kidney research. In 2011, he was awarded the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize, which is given by the International Society of Nephrology and the PKD Foundation to scientists who have increased understanding of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), leading to new treatments and the promise of a cure. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health awarded a five-year Core Center Grant (P30) to Calvet and his colleagues at the Jared Grantham Kidney Institute at the university. The Kansas Polycystic Kidney Disease Research and Translation Core Center, which was formed as part of the NIH grant application process, is one of only four centers nationally to receive this type of PKD research funding from the NIH.  

Janet Pierce
A member of the KU School of Nursing faculty since 1990, Pierce's research focuses on cardiopulmonary measures to address various illnesses. In addition to her faculty position in the School of Nursing, she is an adjunct professor in the KU Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. In 2012 Pierce retired as a Captain after serving 25 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Pierce was selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in October 2012. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Christine A. Hartley Endowed Professorship in Nursing, the March of Dimes Nursing Educator Award, and the Daisy Faculty Award for Graduate Teachers from the University of Kansas.

Susan Carlson
Carlson joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1999. Her research examines docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) and evaluates the effect of DHA provided pre- and postnatally on visual, cognitive and physiology of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. In 2002, she was made an honorary member of the American Dietetic Association in recognition for her pioneering work in identifying DHA as a conditionally essential nutrient for developing infants. In 2008, Carlson received the March of Dimes Agnes Higgins Award for outstanding achievement in the field of maternal-fetal nutrition; and in 2017 she was named a Distinguished Alumna of Iowa State University. Carlson takes an active role in the education of U.S. pediatricians, obstetricians, nurses and dietitians about the roles of DHA in maternal and infant health.